Trump chooses his Russian ambassador

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Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman (R) will be nominated by President Trump to serve as the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

A Tuesday press release from the White House read, “Governor Jon Huntsman has had a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman.

“His robust record of public service includes service as U.S. Ambassador to China and to Singapore, Deputy United States Trade Representative, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development. He was also twice elected Governor of Utah.”

Huntsman’s nomination for the diplomatic post had been rumored, with NBC News reporting in March that Huntsman had accepted the position. It was also speculated that Huntsman was a possible candidate for secretary of State, but the president ultimately chose Rex Tillerson to fill that post.

During the 2016 presidential election, Huntsman endorsed Trump until the release of the 2005 Access Hollywood tape, which revealed Trump speaking about inappropriately touching women without their consent. Following the incident, Huntsman called for Trump to withdraw from the race.

“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor [Mike] Pence [R-Ind.] to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune last October.

Huntsman’s nomination follows reports of Donald Trump Jr.’s meeting with a Russian lawyer during the campaign and stories of a “private” meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin during the recent G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany.

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