Ivanka Trump on Tuesday counted herself out as the next US ambassador to the United Nations, even though her father said she would be a “dynamite” envoy. The president said he was considering Egypt-born Dina Powell and would make a decision in the coming weeks.
President Donald Trump’s daughter, as well as a top adviser, made the remarks Tuesday after Nikki Haley announced that she was leaving the job at the end of the year.
“It is an honor to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the president will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley,” Ivanka Trump said after her father spurred speculation that he would name her to the post. “That replacement will not be me.”
The president said Haley would help select her replacement, and called her a “great friend” who did a “fantastic job.”
It is an honor to serve in the White House alongside so many great colleagues and I know that the President will nominate a formidable replacement for Ambassador Haley. That replacement will not be me.
— Ivanka Trump (@IvankaTrump) October 9, 2018
He said Dina Powell was being considered for the post and that he had “heard a lot of names” for Haley’s possible replacement, adding that he would announce his choice in the next two or three weeks.
“I’ve heard Ivanka. I’ve heard how good would Ivanka be,” Trump told reporters. “It has nothing to do with nepotism. But I want to tell you, the people who know, know that Ivanka would be dynamite,” he said.
“Ivanka would be incredible but that doesn’t mean I’d pick her because you’d be accused of nepotism even though I’m not sure there is anybody more competent in the world,” Trump said.
Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner, who is also a top adviser to Trump, are Jewish.
Front-runner Powell was deputy national security adviser before she left the White House at the beginning of the year.
She was originally hired to work on economic development at the behest of Ivanka and Kushner. But Powell, an Egyptian-American with international experience and fluency in Arabic, was quickly tapped for the national security team.
Powell’s foreign policy experience was forged under Condoleezza Rice, who brought her into the State Department when George W. Bush’s administration was trying to improve diplomacy in the Middle East.
Born in Cairo, Powell moved to the United States with her family at the age of four and had to learn to speak English. Entering Republican politics at a young age, Powell put herself through the University of Texas by working in the state legislature.
After stints with several GOP congressional members and at the Republican National Committee, she joined the Bush administration. There she became the youngest person to ever run a president’s personnel office. She later served Rice as assistant secretary of state for educational and cultural affairs and as deputy undersecretary of state for public diplomacy and public affairs.
From the White House, Powell went to Goldman Sachs, where she worked for a decade, becoming a partner, looking after global investment and serving as president of the company foundation, overseeing an effort to invest in female entrepreneurs around the world.
At the Trump White House, Powell allied herself with the president’s influential daughter and son-in-law. That alliance, in addition to her Goldman credentials and her time working for Bush, led her to being viewed skeptically by some in Trump’s base and by nationalist forces in the White House that had been led by former chief strategist Steve Bannon.
Her standing in the White House grew quickly, as Trump often leaned on her counsel even if he didn’t always follow her advice. She was the only woman in the room in an April photograph of a makeshift Mar-a-Lago conference room when Trump ordered missile strikes in Syria.
She worked closely with former National Economic Council director Gary Cohn, also a former Goldman Sachs executive, and acted as a liaison to the corporate world, though many of the president’s business councils disbanded after his inflammatory remarks in the wake of the racial violence in Charlottesville, Virginia. In a White House riven by rivalries, she often teamed with Kushner and offered a more conventional policy perspective than Bannon.
The rare figure in the Trump White House to receive some praise from Democrats, Powell helped steer Trump through his first two major foreign trips, to the Middle East and Europe, and to Asia.