Trump nominates former Texas US senator as NATO ambassador

Former U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison. (File)
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WASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump says he has nominated Kay Bailey Hutchison, a former Republican senator from Texas, to be the U.S. ambassador to NATO.

Mr. Trump has had a rocky relationship with the 28-nation military alliance.

As a candidate, he called NATO "obsolete."

The president has criticized several members of the post-World War II organization for not spending adequately on defense.

At a May meeting in Brussels with NATO members, Mr. Trump complained that his allies had shortchanged "the people and taxpayers of the United States," creating additional strains for the organization.

Hutchison, who is 73, won a runoff special election to fill a vacant Senate seat in 1993 and served three full terms.

“Throughout her career in public service, Kay’s dedication to helping others and advancing commonsense Texas values has been second to none,” U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said Thursday.

“With a proven track record of getting results, she has always done what she thought was in the best interest of Texas and our country,” he said.

“I have no doubt she will now bring her tireless advocacy and fierce work ethic to the world stage on behalf of the American people. I’m thankful she has once again answered the call to service, and I look forward to supporting my fellow Texan’s nomination before the U.S. Senate.”