U.S.

Huntsman accepts offer to be U.S. ambassador to Russian Federation

Huntsman accepts offer to be U.S. ambassador to Russian Federation

Jon Huntsman has accepted President Donald Trump's offer to be the next ambassador to Russian Federation, a source confirmed to NBC News Wednesday. Huntsman has served under both Democratic and Republican administrations. He served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and as ambassador to China under President Barack Obama.

When questioned on Wednesday (8 March) about potential losses to USA influence from budget cuts, Acting State Department Spokesman Mark Toner said they are "still in early days with respect to the budget", and that "Secretary Tillerson is resolved to ensure that missions, embassies and consulates overseas have the necessary resources to carry out their mission".

Huntsman's name also came up during Trump's transition when his team was searching for a secretary of state nominee.

The Senate would need to confirm Huntsman for the post.


Politico first reported Trump's decision Wednesday, with CNN reporting Huntsman has agreed privately to accept the position.

Huntsman and Trump have exchanged strong words during the president's relatively short political career.

The post in Russia will be high-profile in the Trump administration, as investigations begin on Capitol Hill to determine the scope of Russian meddling in the presidential election.

Relations between Russian President Vladimir Putin's administration and that of Trump's are sensitive right now due to allegations of election tampering by Russia and improper exchanges of information between Trump and Putin officials. Though he initially endorsed Trump's campaign, Huntsman was one of several prominent Republicans to call on him to quit the race in August after a 2005 audio recording revealed then-candidate Trump joking about grabbing women's genitals.