- The Washington Times - Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. has reportedly accepted an offer from President Trump to be the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

The veteran diplomat, who also sought the 2012 Republican presidential nomination, would take over perhaps the most politically fraught and high-stakes post in the U.S. ambassadorship ranks.

CNN, citing “several senior administration officials,” reported Wednesday evening that Mr. Huntsman would take the appointment, which requires Senate confirmation. Mr. Huntsman was the choice, one senior administration official told CNN, because “he is a ‘brilliant guy,’ ‘tough’ and understands what Trump wants.”

Mr. Huntsman is no stranger to major diplomatic posts — having been picked by President Obama to be the top U.S. emissary in China and by President George H.W. Bush as ambassador to Singapore.

But the Russia post will require him both to deal with a nation that has seen its relations with the U.S. deteriorate in recent years and to represent an administration dogged by questions about its top officials’ ties to the Kremlin.

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