Kentucky native in line to be country's top diplomat

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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) -- The president takes Sen. Mitch McConnell’s suggestion – and prepares to nominate current U.S. Ambassador to Canada Kelly Knight Craft to be the country’s next ambassador to the United Nations.

Washington Correspondent Kyle Midura sat down with the majority leader Thursday. Their conversation – edited for time – can be viewed in the video player; the transcript is below.

Kyle Midura – Washington Correspondent: What makes Kelly Knight Craft the right person to become the next U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations?

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky):
Well I’m pretty excited about a Kentuckian getting a job like this. She’s been ambassador to Canada for the last couple of years. She’s been there during these sensitive negotiations over re-writing the trade agreement between Mexico and Canada. Back in the (George W.) Bush administration she had a role – a more limited role – at the United Nations… and, I’ve known her for years. She’s active in civic matters. I think she’s got all the skills you need for this kind of sensitive, diplomatic post.

Kyle Midura – Washington Correspondent:
As you mentioned, she won praise for her handling of the trade negotiations with Canada, smoothing over relationships, what do you hope she’ll focus on if and when she does land at the U.N.?

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky):
Well, it’s a much broader portfolio. I mean you’re representing the United States at a body that has an awful lot of countries that are pretty hostile to the United States… I think one of her biggest jobs will be defending our ally Israel with whom we are closely working on every issue.

Kyle Midura – Washington Correspondent:
When do you expect the nomination to be official, when might we see a vote in the Senate?

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky):
I think in the next few months we’ll be able to get through it. Our democratic friends here in the Senate have made confirmations a lot more difficult and made them last longer than they should. But, a post of this significance, as soon as it comes out of the Foreign Relations Committee, I’m very likely to call it up. And, we should be able to move forward pretty quickly. She’s already been confirmed once during this administration, and that ought to make it easier as well… I just think it was a great choice and all of us in Kentucky are proud to have the next ambassador to the U.N.



 
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