President Donald Trump’s nominee for U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman, affirmed the U.S. governments belief that Russia interfered in the 2016 presidential election during his opening testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee Tuesday.
“There is no question — underline no question — that the Russia government interfered with the U.S. election last year,” Huntsman declared, adding his belief that U.S.-Russian relations are at a historic low reminiscent of 1986. He also pledged to secure U.S. diplomats in the country from harassment, which they have faced with impunity since the 2013 Russian invasion of Crimea.
Huntsman is a former U.S. Ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama and a former Republican Governor of Utah. Democratic Senator Chris Coons called Huntsman “one of the very highest quality nominees for an ambassadorial post I have seen,” indicating he is likely to face little opposition in the Senate.
Huntsman briefly sought the Republican presidential nomination in the 2012 election and was critical of Trump during the 2016 campaign. Huntsman went so far as to call on Trump to drop out of the presidential race in early October after an Access Hollywood tape of the president’s crude remarks were leaked to The Washington Post.
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