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Kelly Craft: Who is Trump's nominee for UN envoy?

Kelly Craft, a noted climate sceptic, donated $260,000 to Trump's campaign [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 May, 2019

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The environment and the Palestinian cause look set to suffer under the pending appointment of the staunch Republican and wife of coal-mining tycoon.
Kelly Craft, the current US ambassador to Canada, has officially been nominated as the new envoy to the United Nations, The White House announced on Thursday.

Craft, a generous donor to the Republican Party, will fill the vacancy left by Nikki Haley almost five months ago, pending a successful hearing in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo offered quick praise for Craft when Trump first announced his intention to nominate her in February.

"Ambassador Craft has been an outstanding advocate for America's national security and economic interests in Canada and she is extremely well-qualified to do the same at the United Nations," he said.

Despite her close ties with Trump, Craft's nomination for the cabinet-level position may prove contentious among the rest of the Senate committee due to her limited diplomatic experience.

In line with Trump's climate scepticism, Kelly Craft famously caused a stir by saying she believes "both sides of the science" when it comes to climate change, in a 2017 interview.

This may also prove a stumbling block at her confirmation hearing, as Democrats are trying to block Trump from pulling out of the UN-led Paris climate agreement.

Craft's environmental views have come under special scrutiny as she is married to billionaire mining magnate Joe Craft, who owns one of the largest coal producing companies in the US.

But if she is successful, what will Craft bring to the prestigious role?

Having likely been nominated to her current ambassadorial role because of a $260,000 donation to the Trump campaign in 2016, Craft will presumably remain loyal to the President's erratic and belligerent foreign policy outlook.

Trump is also said to be appointing only those guaranteed to toe his party line, after firing a slew of administration staff who he disagreed with, including the former national security adviser H.R. McMaster, Defence Secretary Jim Mattis, and Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

Looking ahead, Craft will likely push for continued cuts to Palestinian aid, while continuing to uncritically promote Israeli expansion, human rights violations and the much panned 'Deal of the Century'.

Unsurprisingly, Israel's UN representative Danny Danon welcomed the news of her nomination.

"I have no doubt she will continue the strong positions Ambassador Nikki Haley took and look forward to working with her to strengthen the US-Israel relationship," he told Jewish Insider in February.

Further afield, Craft's appointment also does not bode well for the Middle East in general, having been a major supporter of George W. Bush and his disastrous 'War on Terror'.

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