Former U.S. Senator Joe Lieberman is under consideration to be the next ambassador to the United Nations after the surprise departure of Nikki Haley, according to media reports.
Lieberman, who represented Connecticut for 24 years in the Senate, told The Courant in an interview in late 2012 that he had been under consideration for the same position during President George W. Bush’s administration.
In a similar way, Lieberman was interviewed at the White House to be the FBI director under President Trump, but that never was finalized.
When asked on CNN this year if he had any regrets about not becoming the FBI director, Lieberman responded, “None at all. Out of a sense of duty and honor that [Trump] had asked me, and after extended conversation with my wife, I was going to do it. But there was a conflict of interest when the lawyer who founded the firm I’m with was asked by the president to defend him in the Mueller investigation.”
Lieberman was referring to Marc Kasowitz, the well-known attorney who runs the New York City-based law firm where Lieberman works and was asked to be Trump’s personal lawyer in the ongoing probe by special counsel Robert Mueller.
Lieberman and associates could not immediately be reached Wednesday over the possible United Nations job. White House correspondent Major Garrett of CBS News reported that Lieberman and others were under consideration for the post.
Not long after Bush won his second term in 2004 over Lieberman’s Yale classmate, John Kerry, Lieberman came close to joining Bush’s administration. In an interview with The Courant before he left office, Lieberman was unsure whether he should disclose his job offers.
“Should I say this?” Lieberman said aloud during an interview, looking over at an aide. “I don’t know if I’ve said it before. I should have saved this for my book.”
“Twice I was asked if I would consider — I was not offered, and that’s very important to say — at the end of the first Bush administration, after he had been re-elected [in 2004],” Lieberman told The Courant. “I was asked whether I would consider accepting the position of ambassador to the United Nations.”
Lieberman spoke with various top Bush advisers, including then-chief of staff Andrew Card and national security adviser Condoleezza Rice, about the position before he finally decided to remain in the Senate.
Not long after, Lieberman said Card called again, asking him about being homeland security chief on short notice. Would he consider replacing Bernie Kerik of New York, who had run into major controversy in December 2004 after being nominated? That did not happen, either.
“If you’re asked by a president, when the focus of my life has been public service,” Lieberman said in December 2012, “you really have to give it the most serious consideration — and I did give the U.N. ambassadorship serious consideration … but ultimately I decided I wanted to continue working in the Senate.” ___
This article is written by Christopher Keating from The Hartford Courant and was legally licensed via the Tribune Content Agency through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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