Published: Fri, March 10, 2017
U.S. | By Wayne Curry

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman accepts nomination of Russian Federation ambassadorship

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman accepts nomination of Russian Federation ambassadorship

Jon Huntsman as the us ambassador to Russian Federation, one of the State Department's most sensitive diplomatic posts.

Reports surfaced earlier this month that Huntsman was in talks to serve as the us ambassador to Russian Federation.

Huntsman, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate, has held two previous ambassadorships, but given all the attention on Russia's reported meddling in the 2016 election and potential ties to the Trump campaign, the job is sure to be under heightened scrutiny.

The pick, if true, is a bit surprising, since U.S. President Donald Trump has so far shown to favor loyalty over experience in filling certain positions. Huntsman was Utah's governor from 2005 to 2009.

Jon Huntsman at the Council on Foreign Relations January 29, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Trump also called Huntsman a "lightweight" and "weak".

Huntsman has previously served as ambassador to Singapore under former President George H.W. Bush and as ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama.

Huntsman left that post to pursue a short-lived presidential campaign against his former boss in 2012.

He called for Trump to drop out of the presidential race in October, after the leak of the Access Hollywood tape where Trump was heard saying he would grab women by their privates.

In recent weeks, sources close to Huntsman also speculated he was considering running for senate in Utah to replacing 82-year old Sen.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who was a Trump surrogate during the race, has been accused of not disclosing his meetings with Russian Ambassador to the US, Sergey Kislyak a year ago.

Besides Secretary of State Tillerson, Huntsman will be perhaps the highest profile member of Trump's diplomatic corps that has largely been sidelined early in his presidency.

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