Posted: 3:21 am ET
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert assumed her position on April 25, 2017 (see Heather Nauert: From Fox News Channel to State Department Spokesperson). On the same day that Secretary Tillerson and Under Secretary Goldstein (see Steve Goldstein Assumes Charge as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs) were both fired, the White House also publicly designated Heather Nauert as Acting Under Secretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs (R). Her official bio notes that “She will continue to serve as State Department Spokesperson.”
Ms. Nauert may not get any sleep for the next six months (must see story of the day also has a State/GEC connection). Or if as the White House told a reporter, “Heather is the only one at State we trust” what’s the likelihood that this acting position becomes a permanent appointment subject to Senate confirmation, of course?
She just skipped over her new boss at Public Affairs, and she will be dual-hatted as “R” and as spokesperson until a new nominee is confirmed. How long is that going to take? Goldstein was announced as “R” nominee in September 2017 but did not get through the confirmation process and assume office until December 2017. We have seen PA dual hatted as spox, but we don’t think we’ve ever had an R dual hatted as spox (Margaret D. Tutwiler did serve as R and Public Affairs but not concurrently, though she was dual hatted as PA/spox).
If the online details of the R bureau are current, of the fourteen senior positions currently under Ms. Nauert, five are currently vacant, five are encumbered by career officials, and four are recent political appointments from Trump campaign/connections that include Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Michelle Giuda (Gingrich), DAS for Digital Strategy in the Bureau of Public Affairs Len Khodorkovsky (campaign), DAS for Strategic Communications in the Bureau of Public Affairs Adrienne Ross (?) and Senior Advisor for Public Engagement in the Bureau of Public Affairs Kathryn Wellner (campaign).
Six bureaus and offices report to the Acting Under Secretary:Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA-nominee pending); Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP-no nominee announced)); Bureau of Public Affairs (PA-filled); Office of Policy, Planning and Resources (R/PPR); Expo Unit (EXPO) and the Global Engagement Center (GEC-no nominee announced).
One senior R adviser who recently left State notes the potential fallout from the Goldstein firing (see The Other Firing At State And What That Means).
…the Department's Global Engagement Center, is managed by acting civil service and foreign service staff who reported directly to Goldstein. From The Other Firing At State And What That Means
via @grahamlampa https://t.co/pp9OlaU2O0
— Diplopundit (@Diplopundit) March 16, 2018
— Josh Lederman (@joshledermanAP) March 18, 2018
A top state department job goes to a cable TV host from Fox & Friends — the show where Kellyanne shills for Ivanka's clothes. What did we expect when a TV reality show host became president?https://t.co/kdHrniN6A1
— Richard W. Painter (@RWPUSA) March 16, 2018
WH official told me earlier today: “Heather is the only one at State we trust.” https://t.co/YuTfUopm2s
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) March 13, 2018
— Conor Finnegan (@cjf39) March 13, 2018
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) March 14, 2018
Trump installs former 'Fox & Friends' host as under secretary of state. The WH Heather Nauert as acting under secretary for public diplomacy, “Heather is the only one at State we trust.”
— AsperGirl, Under Attack by LW Trolls (@AsperGirl) March 14, 2018