State Dept. spokeswoman Heather Nauert, President Donald Trump’s pick to be Washington’s next U.N. ambassador, has withdrawn from consideration for the job, after a background check revealed that she failed to pay taxes on time and hired a nanny who didn’t have proper work authorization.
“I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of U.S. ambassador to the United Nations,” Nauert said in a statement late Saturday.
“However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration,” she said.
“Serving in the administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honors of my life and I will always be grateful to the president, the secretary, and my colleagues at the State Department for their support.”
Before joining the State Department, Nauert was a host on Fox & Friends. President Donald Trump announced that he planned to nominate Nauert to the U.N. post in December after then-ambassador Nikki Haley resigned in October.
Trump had not officially yet sent Nauert’s nomination to the Senate, a delay that had begun to cause concerns among some senators.
A Washington Post report Saturday said the delay was a result of uncertainty within the administration over how to handle revelations about Nauert’s nanny and taxes.
She reportedly paid back the taxes years later and one official told The Post she voluntarily disclosed hiring the nanny without proper work authorization at the start of her vetting process.
Before the news became public, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ), the Foreign Relations Committee’s ranking Democrat, told The Post, “There clearly is a problem when you don’t send her paperwork over for a critical post. This isn’t an ambassador to wherever, this is a global-stage role. And you don’t go around telling the world ‘This is going to be my nominee’ and then never send anything over.”
Nauert had been the subject of other controversies while in the role as state department spokeswoman.
As NPR noted Saturday, she faced criticism for a touristy Instagram post while traveling to Saudi Arabia for a trip related to the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi and once said D-Day, the invasion of Normandy by Allied forces against the Nazis, was a good example of America’s relationship with Germany.
The news that Nauert had hired a nanny without proper work authorization comes not long after a report from the Post that Trump himself hired an dozens of undocumented workers at his golf courses.