Trump eyes for­mer Texas res­i­dents for U.N. re­place­ment

San Antonio Express-News (Sunday) - - Metro - By Todd Gillman

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.



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