John James, a Republican who ran for Senator in Michigan in 2018, is now reportedly one of President Trump’s top picks to be the news US ambassador to the United Nations. On Tuesday,multiple news reports said that the president was considering nominating James to the post, which has been left empty ever since former UN ambassador Nikki Haley stepped down at the end of 2018.
The source told Fox that James is the leading candidate, adding that he has also told the White House that he’d be interested in the job. CNN also reports that a source told them that James is being eyed for the post of UN ambassador. The president reportedly discussed the idea with trusted advisers over the weekend at Mar-a-Lago, referring to James as a “rising star.”
James’ Senate campaign was endorsed by Donald Trump, who called him “spectacular” at the time. James won the Republican primary but eventually lost to Democrat Debbie Stabenow in the general election. James is a conservative, African American politician and businessman.
James, 37, graduated from West Point and served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as a helicopter pilot. He is now married with two young sons and living in Farmington Hills, Michigan. He is the president of his family’s business.
1. James Is a Combat Veteran Who Was Decorated Three Times For His Service in Iraq
At the age of 17, James decided that he wanted to join the military. He enrolled at West Point when he was 18, graduating in 2004. After graduation, James became a Ranger-qualified aviation officer. He flew Apache helicopters in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2007 to 2009. He flew for a total of more than 750 hours in Iraq and was decorated with a Combat Action Badge and two Air Medals.
James says that his military experience makes him a valuable candidate, since — as he told the Associated Press — “we need a combat veteran on the floor of the U.S. Senate who’s actually been to combat and understands what it takes to keep America safe because he’s actually done it. Someone who understands national security from a strategical and tactical level as this world becomes a more dangerous place.”
James also said that while serving in Iraq, he became motivated to fight for the people of Michigan, who were suffering in the midst of the 2008 economic recession. He says that he was suddenly struck by the realization that, while he was fighting in Operation Iraqi Freedom, his own neighbors back home needed help. You can watch him talk about that, and about how his military experience inspired him in an interview on Fox News, here.
2. He Runs His Family’s Multi-Million Dollar Business And Says He’s Added 100 Jobs Since Taking the Helm
John James holds multiple graduate degrees: a Master’s of Supply Chain Management from Penn State University,and an MBA from the University of Michigan. He is the president of his family’s business, James Group International.
In interviews, James refers to the business as a small automobile logistics company, and he talks as if he were just another small business owner, a regular guy. But in fact, the James Group is no mom-and-pop business. It’s a multi-million dollars corporation composed of three businesses that provide logistics and supply chain assistance to Fortune 500 companies. Their clients include Ford, Toyota, and General Motors.
According to James’ estimation, the James Group was worth $35 million when he took over as president after returning from Iraq. Currently, the business brings in about $137 million in revenue. James says he’s added 100 jobs since becoming president of the company.
3. James And His Wife, Elizabeth, Have Two Sons. Elizabeth Is an Advocate for Children’s Rights
James and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Farmington Hills, a suburb of Detroit. They have two young sons: John, age 4 and Hudson, 2.
Elizabeth is on the board of directors of Vista Maria, a non-profit that works with abused women and children. Vista also advocates on behalf of trafficked children, and Elizabeth has done a lot of work advocating on this issue. You can watch her talk about this issue here.
4. James Calls Himself A “Conservative Outsider Who Supports the Trump Agenda.” He Is Anti-Abortion and Pro-Gun, and He Wants Strong Borders
James says that he is a “conservative” who believes in defending “American exceptionalism.” He has spoken out against the “culture of entitlement” and the welfare state. He says he believes in “limited government” and that a “conservative outsider — like himself — is best for the people of Michigan. He describes himself as a “staunch conservative” who believes in God and country and is pro-life and pro-gun.
He believes in the importance of “strong borders” and says he is opposed to sanctuary cities — or, as he calls them, “outlaw cities.” He is a staunch defender of gun rights. He also describes himself as “100 percent pro-life.”
5. Trump’s Previous Pick for UN Ambassador, Heather Nauert, Withdrew Her Name Because She Said the Process Was Tough on Her Family
In December 2018, President Trump announced that he was tapping Heather Nauert to be the new US ambassador to the UN. Nauert, a former Fox News presenter and State Department spokesperson, would have taken over the job from outgoing UN ambassador Nikki Haley. But on February 16, Nauert said she had withdrawn from consideration for the job. News reports said that Nauert was withdrawing because she had once employed a nanny who didn’t have a proper working visa. Nauert herself said that she was withdrawing because the past few months had been “grueling” for her family.
In a statement released by the State Department on February 16, Nauert said, “I am grateful to President Trump and Secretary Pompeo for the trust they placed in me for considering me for the position of US Ambassador to the United Nations. However, the past two months have been grueling for my family and therefore it is in the best interest of my family that I withdraw my name from consideration. Serving in the Administration for the past two years has been one of the highest honors of my life and I will always be grateful to the President, the Secretary, and my colleagues at the State Department for their support.”