WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he has selected Kelly Craft, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, as his nominee to serve as the next U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Trump said in a pair of tweets that Craft "has done an outstanding job representing our Nation" and he has "no doubt that, under her leadership, our Country will be represented at the highest level."

Two people familiar with the matter who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss personnel matters had told The Associated Press that Trump had been advised that Craft's confirmation would be the smoothest of the three candidates he had been considering to fill the job last held by Nikki Haley.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., had backed Craft for the post, and she also has the support of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton, the people said. Trump's first pick to replace Haley, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, withdrew over the weekend.

McConnell praised Craft as "an exceptional choice for this critical post." He added, "She has a long record of service to her state and the nation and I'm confident she will continue to serve with distinction as America's voice to the world at the United Nations."

Craft, a Kentucky native, was a member of the U.S. delegation to the U.N. General Assembly under President George W. Bush's administration. She is also friends with McConnell's wife, Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, and thanked Chao for her "longtime friendship and support" at her swearing-in as ambassador.

As U.S. ambassador to Canada, she played a role in facilitating the U.S.-Mexico-Canada trade agreement, a revamp of the North American Free Trade Agreement.

Trump had also considered U.S. Ambassador to Germany Richard Grenell and former U.S. Senate candidate John James of Michigan for the post.

Nauert's withdrawal from consideration came amid a push within the administration to fill the position, given a pressing array of foreign policy concerns in which the United Nations, particularly the U.N. Security Council, is likely to play a significant role. From Afghanistan to Venezuela, the administration has pressing concerns that involve the world body, and officials said there had been impatience with the delays on Nauert's formal nomination.

The vacancy created an opportunity for Pompeo and others to take on a more active role in U.N. diplomacy. On Thursday, for example, Pompeo was in New York to meet with U.N. chief Antonio Guterres.