Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to China, sent a resignation letter to President Barack Obama on Monday and now is likely to explore a Republican presidential bid, a close associate told POLITICO.
In a letter hand-delivered to the White House, the former Utah governor said that he wants to return to the United States by May, the associate said. The letter thanks Obama for the opportunity to serve the country and praises the U.S. embassy staff in Beijing.
If Huntsman won the GOP nomination, he would be challenging the reelection of his former boss. White House officials are furious at what they consider an audacious betrayal, but know that any public criticism would be likely to benefit Huntsman if he enters the primaries.