Ex-Trump adviser Powell says she doesn’t want UN envoy post — source
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Ex-Trump adviser Powell says she doesn’t want UN envoy post — source

Powell cites family in asking president to take her name out of running to replace Nikki Haley, according to person familiar

Dina Powell leaves a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2017. (AP/Andrew Harnik, File)
Dina Powell leaves a news conference in the Rose Garden at the White House in Washington on April 5, 2017. (AP/Andrew Harnik, File)

NEW YORK — Former deputy national security adviser Dina Powell told the White House on Thursday that she’s not interested in serving as the next UN ambassador, a person familiar with the conversation told The Associated Press.

President Donald Trump had said the Goldman Sachs executive was on his shortlist of five people to replace outgoing ambassador Nikki Haley, who surprised many when she announced this week that she planned to depart at the end of the year.

But Powell spoke to the president on Thursday and asked that her name be removed from consideration, according to the person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about private conversations and spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity.

Powell indicated to Trump that she was honored to be discussed but felt it wasn’t the right time for her family to take the post, the person said.

Powell, who has close ties to the president’s daughter, Ivanka Trump, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, also told the president that she would be happy to continue to informally advise the White House.

Trump had told reporters earlier this week that he thought Powell would “love” the job, but said he was also talking to other potential candidates.

“We’re certainly looking at Dina, and we’re looking at others. There’s some tremendously talented people,” he said.

Others in the administration, including national security adviser John Bolton, had opposed the idea of tapping Powell for the position.

Powell, who was born in Egypt and grew up in Texas, had played a role with Kushner in the administration’s Israeli-Palestinian peace push before leaving the White House late last year.

L-R: Israeli Ambassador to the US Ron Dermer, US President Donald Trump’s Middle East envoy Jason Greenblatt, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, US Deputy National Security Adviser for Strategy Dina Powell and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman meet in Tel Aviv on August 24, 2017. (Amos Ben Gershom/GPO)

Powell would be the third person apparently out of the running for the job since Haley announced her shock departure Tuesday.

Trump on Tuesday told reporters that he has heard Ivanka Trump’s name discussed for the post, adding she’d be “incredible,” but said if he selected her he’d be accused of nepotism.

In a tweet, Ivanka Trump praised Haley, saying her father will “nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador.” She added: “That replacement will not be me.”

US Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell’s name has also been floated for the post, but Trump suggested he’d rather keep him in his current post “because he’s doing such a good job.”

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