ST. GEORGE – Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has been offered the position of U.S. ambassador to Russia and is in the process of accepting the job, according to FOX 13 News in Salt Lake City citing a report published Wednesday in Politico.
CNN reported Huntsman accepted the offer. Though he may have accpeted the post, he has yet to be vetted and confirmed by government officials.
Politico, citing two sources within President Donald Trump’s administration, reports Huntsman is submitting paperwork to accept the job, which was officially offered earlier this week.
Huntsman is a former ambassador to China under President Barack Obama and to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush.
Last year Huntsman’s name was reportedly in the hat of candidates being considered by Trump to be the next Secretary of State. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was also among the candidates.
Trump would ultimately choose former Exxon-Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the new State secretary.
Huntsman was among a number of Republicans who voiced disapproval with Trump in the wake of the release of a 2005 Access Hollywood video in which the then presidential candidate made crude comments about women.
Like other Republicans who have changed their tunes to a more supportive note, Huntsman has reportedly done the same in regards to the new president.
“It’s a bit bizarre because he was so anti-Trump last year,” one source close to the administration told the Politico. “But it’s also a smart choice, because he really knows his [stuff].”
Huntsman’s reported acceptance to be the ambassador to Russia comes in the middle of investigations into the alleged Russian government’s attempts to interfere in the 2016 election.
On top of that, allegations the Russians may have violated a nuclear arms treaty had also surfaced, according to The Associated Press.
A senior U.S. general accused Russia Wednesday of deploying a land-based cruise missile in violation of “the spirit and intent” of a nuclear arms treaty.
“We believe that the Russians have deliberately deployed it in order to pose a threat to NATO and to facilities within the NATO area of responsibility,” Gen. Paul Selva, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told a House Armed Services Committee hearing.
Selva’s accusation takes on added political significance in light of President Donald Trump’s stated goal to improve relations with Russia , even as Moscow is perceived by U.S. allies in Europe as a military threat of growing urgency.
FOX 13 News in Salt Lake City has reached out to Huntsman Jr.’s office for confirmation and a statement regarding the ambassadorship.
The Associated Press and FOX 13 News contributed to this report.
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