WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump announced on Friday he was nominating Kelly Knight Craft as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.
“I am pleased to announce that Kelly Knight Craft, our current Ambassador to Canada, is being nominated to be United States Ambassador to the United Nations,” the president said in a tweet. “Kelly has done an outstanding job representing our Nation and I have no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level. Congratulations to Kelly and her entire family!”
Her nomination will be sent to the Senate for consideration. Craft, who currently serves as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, was a favorite of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, who recommended her to fill the vacancy and spoke to the president about it.
The post has been up in the air since Trump’s first U.N. ambassador, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, left at the end of last year.
Trump initially tapped Heather Nauert, a State Department spokeswoman and former Fox News host, to replace Haley. But Nauert withdrew last week amid concerns about her qualifications for the job and a report from Bloomberg News that she had hired a nanny who did not have a legal work permit.
Craft is a rising star in Kentucky politics, and her name had been bounced around as one of the many individuals that Kentucky Gov. Matt Bevin was rumored to have considered to be his running mate for the 2019 election. He ultimately chose state Sen. Ralph Alvarado, R-Winchester, to be on the ticket.
Craft, a Kentucky native from Glasgow, is the wife of coal billionaire Joe Craft, and the two are major GOP donors in the state and nationally. The two supported Trump’s election during the 2016 presidential campaign and were later appointed as finance vice-chairs to his inaugural committee.
She previously served as a member of the University of Kentucky board of trustees before she was as an alternate delegate in the U.S. delegation to the UN during George W. Bush’s time in the White House. During that time she focused on U.S. engagement in Africa.
Contributing: Deirdre Shesgreen and Phillip M. Bailey of the Louisville Courier-Journal
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