In her first press briefing as spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, former Fox News host Heather Nauert sparred with reporters.
Nauert and reporters frequently spoke over each other during the 40-minute briefing, with Nauert asking, “May I finish, please?” Nauert also admonished NBC’s Andrea Mitchell for asking multiple questions, noting that “we have a lot of people in the room we need to get around to.”
When Mitchell asked a question that suggested the State Department, and not Senate Democrats, were to blame for the slow pace of confirmations, Nauert took issue with Mitchell.
“Is it a deliberate decision to wait to nominate people?” Mitchell asked.
“I would take issue first with the premise of your question,” Nauert retorted. “There are people moving through the pipeline.”
When asked which candidates were moving forward, Nauert cited the recent appointment of former Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad as ambassador to China and repeated that the administration had many candidates “in the pipeline.”
“I’m sure, in the private sector, you can understand human resources,” Nauert told Mitchell. “We can’t always give you all of the information you want about each of the candidates.”
Nauert stated that a number of candidates for positions as ambassadors and top officials were undergoing a lengthy security clearance process that Nauert herself had experienced in part.
Nauert, who previously anchored “Fox and Friends” on the Fox News Channel, was selected to be the State Department spokeswoman in April.
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