NBC News chief foreign affairs correspondent Andrea Mitchell weighed in on the candidates that could replace outgoing UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, calling Ric Grenell “very controversial” in Germany because he has “offended Angela Merkel.”
Haley announced her resignation Tuesday morning and is set to depart from the position at the end of the year.
Mitchell began by addressing the qualifications of Dina Powell, the former deputy national security advisor for President Donald Trump, who appears to be on the top of the shortlist. She referred to Powell as “very successful” in foreign policy, listing her work with former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice as well as the Bush White House.
The MSNBC host then mentioned Powell’s heritage.
“She’s ethnically Egyptian,” Mitchell told “11th Hour” anchor Brian Williams. “It would be challenging going to the UN at a time when not only the Muslim ban, but the Palestinian — the withdrawal of all funding for UN-Palestinian relief and refugee aid.”
She added that the role of UN Ambassador could be a “very good fit” for Powell since she gets along with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and is close with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.
Mitchell then pivoted to another leading candidate, U.S. Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell, who she thought is “completely different” and is “very controversial.”
“He was a top aide to National Security Advisor Bolton when he was at the UN as ambassador. And Bolton, of course, was a recess appointment, never confirmed by the Senate, dislikes the United Nations and everything it stands for,” Mitchell continued. “Grenell is in that mode and has not been terribly diplomatic. He’s offended Angela Merkel in Germany but is very close to Bolton and well thought of by the president.”