In Summary
  • Eight months have passed since the US president nominated Kyle McCarter for the Nairobi post.
  • Senate Foreign Relations Committee held a hearing on Mr McCarter’s nomination in July but has taken no action since then.
  • Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee are delaying a vote on confirmation.

New York

Donald Trump’s choice as the next US ambassador to Kenya says he is practicing patience as his confirmation continues to be blocked by critics in the US Senate.

Eight months have passed since the US president nominated Kyle McCarter for the Nairobi post held for the past six years by Mr Robert Godec.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which must clear ambassadorial appointments for a confirmation vote by the full Senate, held a hearing on Mr McCarter’s nomination in July but has taken no action since then.

“It’s a challenging process but you have to be patient,” Mr McCarter, the founder of a Kenya-based charity, said in a telephone interview on Friday.

“It’s a great opportunity worth waiting for.”

Mr McCarter added that President Trump has given him no indication that his nomination might be withdrawn.

DELAYING VOTE

Democrats on the Republican-controlled committee are delaying a vote on confirmation, partly because they object to Mr McCarter’s opposition to same-sex marriages and to the refugee policies of the Obama administration.

Especially galling to some of the Democratic committee members is a tweet Mr McCarter posted on the night of Mr Trump’s 2016 election victory urging that Hillary Clinton be put in prison.

Mr McCarter, a Republican who is stepping down as a member of the Illinois State legislature, offered an indirect apology for that message at the committee’s July hearing on his nomination.

“It is one of those tweets you’d like to reel in but can’t,” Mr McCarter said in response to tough questioning by Senator Tim Kaine, the vice-presidential nominee on the Democratic ticket headed by Mrs Clinton.

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