Trump eyes former Texas residents for U.N. replacement
WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump reportedly has two of Dallas’ most prominent former residents under consideration for ambassador to the United Nations: Nancy Brinker and Kay Bailey Hutchison.
Brinker, founder of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation, served as President George W. Bush’s ambassador to Hungary for two years and later as his White House chief of protocol, responsible for interacting with foreign dignitaries.
The White House reached out to her Wednesday to ask if she would be open to consideration, according to CNN, citing a Republican source.
Hutchison, the current U.S. ambassador to NATO, served as senator from Texas for two decades. She was at Trump’s side during the western alliance summit in Brussels in July.
Politico reported that outside advisers have urged Trump to put Hutchison on his short list. Axios also reported that her name was being floated to replace Nikki Haley at the U.N.
Haley, a former South Carolina governor, abruptly announced Tuesday that she would step down in December after nearly two years in the post.
Aides are urging Trump to replace her with another woman, in time to shore up support from women voters ahead of next month’s midterm elections, Politico said.
A top contender, Dina Powell, a Goldman Sachs executive and top Trump aide during his first year in office, withdrew from consideration, citing bad timing for work and family. She was Haley’s top pick and also had the backing of Trump’s daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, according to Axios, but faced “considerable internal opposition” from others in the administration.
The current list includes Brinker, former New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Kelly Knight Craft, Trump’s ambassador to Canada and, with her husband Joe Craft, a coal executive, a major Republican donor, according to Politico. Craft was reportedly at the White House on Thursday to discuss the job.
Hutchison stepped down in 2012 from the Senate. Sen. Ted Cruz won the seat. During her 20 years in office, she became a top GOP expert on defense policy. As a traditional foreign policy hawk, her views don’t always align with Trump’s “America First” rhetoric.
But that meant her appointment to the NATO post in Brussels — when fellow Texan Rex Tillerson was secretary of state — provided enormous reassurance to European allies about the U.S. commitment to the alliance.