Trump Administration
December 6, 2018

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert is President Trump's choice to replace Nikki Haley as ambassador to the United Nations, and he's expected to make the announcement on Friday, three people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg on Thursday.

Nauert, 48, is a former Fox News host. She came to the State Department in April 2017, with no government or foreign policy experience. Nauert didn't click with former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Bloomberg reports, but does get along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who supports Trump's decision to nominate her.

Before he settled on Nauert, Trump considered nominating former White House aide Dina Powell, former U.S. Senate candidate John James of Michigan, ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell, and ambassador to Canada Kelly Craft, Bloomberg reports. U.N. ambassador is a position that is confirmed by the Senate. Catherine Garcia

October 16, 2017

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be (ahem) intact, but his relationship with President Trump has turned famously testy. Trump has been weighing replacing Tillerson with CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Axios reported after the Trump-Tillerson rift widened publicly, and now, Axios' Mike Allen said Monday morning, Trump is mulling Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) to replace Pompeo at the CIA. Cotton, 40, is open to the switch, a "longtime friend" tells Axios: "This guy quit his fancy law firm to serve his country in the wake of 9/11. He does his duty when the country calls."

Conservative commentator Hugh Hewitt, who speaks with Cotton and first floated him for the CIA job, according to Axios, said that Trump is comfortable with Cotton and talks to him on the phone several times a week. Both Cotton and Pompeo, a former congressman, "like and listen to the president" and "accept his realism in foreign affairs," Hewitt tells Axios. You can read more about the Trump administration scuttlebutt at Axios. Peter Weber

May 14, 2017

President Trump has decided to nominate Callista Gingrich, the wife of former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, as U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, and hopes to make the announcement before Trump meets with Pope Francis on May 24, CNN and The New York Times report. Newt Gingrich said in January that his wife was "under consideration" for the Holy See ambassadorship, but once Trump decided, "the announcement has taken longer than expected pending approval from the Office of Government Ethics," CNN says, citing "an administration official."

Over recent months, The New York Times adds, "Gingrich and her husband grew increasingly frustrated with the slow pace of the vetting process, and Ms. Gingrich even threatened to take her name out of the running." She wasn't Trump's first top candidate — former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.) reportedly took himself out of consideration, saying that taking the job would cause too much financial strain on his family.

Callista Gingrich, who is Catholic and sings in the choir at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, is Newt Gingrich's third wife; she helped convert him to Catholicism in 2009. Peter Weber

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