Published: Sun, December 09, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

Trump names state spokeswoman Nauert for United Nations ambassador

Trump names state spokeswoman Nauert for United Nations ambassador

Barr faces a Senate confirmation process, which figures to include questions about his meeting with the president and an op-ed for The Washington Post where Barr argued "Trump Made the Right Call on Comey", the Federal Bureau of Investigation director fired by the president, and ridiculed the political makeup of special counsel Robert Mueller's team of investigators. Nauert, a former Fox News Channel host, would replace Nikki Haley, who said in October she would resign at the end of this year. Democrats called Nauert unqualified and said they were concerned about Barr's independence.

"He's going to have a very deep respect and commitment to the institution of the Department of Justice", said Eric Jaso, a former federal prosecutor who is now a partner at the Spiro Harrison law firm.

Importantly, when Barr was attorney general, the chief of the Justice Department's Criminal Division was a fellow by the name of Robert Mueller - now the special counsel running the investigation of Russia's interference in the 2016 election, including any Trump-campaign "collusion" therein.

"I don't think anyone has claimed that either one of those investigations was improperly handled or somehow gave a pass to the individuals being investigated", von Spakovsky said.

"Given President Trump's demonstrated lack of regard for the rule of law and the independence of the American justice system, his nominee for attorney general will have a steep hill to climb in order to be confirmed by the Senate", Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer said in a statement. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called Barr's pick an "outstanding decision" and pledged to "do everything in my power" to quickly push the nomination through the committee and onto the Senate floor for confirmation.

Barr also has held what critics see as sweeping views of presidential power, however, and at times has expressed skepticism about past and present independent counsel investigations. But an attorney general opposed to the investigation could theoretically move to cut funding or block certain investigative steps.

Israel locates third 'Hezbollah' tunnel crossing from Lebanon
Also Saturday, the Kremlin said Netanyahu called Russian President Vladimir Putin to tell him about the tunnel operation. The army said it believed the three attempted to use the cover of stormy weather to approach the Israeli forces.

While he led major initiatives of the Trump administration to crack down on crime and illegal immigration, Sessions had angered the president early on when he recused himself from overseeing the Mueller probe because of his own contacts with Russians. "They are both respected lawyers, and my belief is they would work together just fine".

According to Daniel Benjamin, a State Department counterterrorism coordinator during the Barack Obama administration, Nauert's appointment shows that Trump and his top officials are looking to firmly control USA foreign policy.

House Speaker Paul Ryan, a Republican, praised Nauert as "one of the United States' strongest voices on the global stage".

Nauert, who did not have a good relationship with Tillerson and had considered leaving the department, told associates at the time she was taken aback by the promotion offer and recommended a colleague for the job.

Rubio later added, "Does she have detailed knowledge of foreign policy to a level that will allow her to be successful at the United Nations?"

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