Trump picks Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. for top Australia post

November 6, 2018 GMT

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump is picking the man who oversaw the vetting process for his running mate to be the new ambassador to Australia.

The White House says Trump plans to nominate Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. to the post. Culvahouse has led the international law firm O’Melveny & Myers.

Long affiliated with Republican officeholders, Culvahouse was an aide to Tennessee Sen. Howard Baker and later counsel to President Ronald Reagan for the final two years of his administration. He advised Sen. John McCain on his search for a running mate in 2008 and performed that task for Trump in 2016.

Culvahouse earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Tennessee and a law degree from the New York University School of Law.

Former Australian Deputy Prime Minister Tim Fischer on Tuesday welcomed the filling of the post that has been vacant since 2016.

Fischer has been a vocal critic of the U.S. delay in filling a key Pacific diplomatic post, describing it in January as “beyond acceptable” and bordering on a “diplomatic insult.”

“Better late than never after more than a two year gap, I welcome the nomination,” Fischer said in an email.