Trump Offers Russia Ambassador Post To Putin-Critic Jon Huntsman

Tyler Durden's picture

As had been periodically leaked over the past several weeks, overnight both Poliico and the WSJ confirm that President Trump has offered former Utah governor Jon Huntsman the job of U.S. ambassador to Russia and is in the process of submitting paperwork to accept the position; Huntsman is said to have accepted the offer. This is the latest sign of backtracking from plans for Washington-Moscow conciliation, a development which will make future reports based on "anonymous sources" that Trump is a Kremlin puppet even more problematic.

The 56-year-old Mr. Huntsman’s long record in politics and diplomacy—as governor of Utah and ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and to China under President Barack Obama—likely will assure him of an easy confirmation in Congress. Huntsman, who served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and then to China under President Barack Obama, was an outspoken critic of President Donald Trump during last year's campaign.

Last October, Huntsman—who ran for president as a Republican in 2012—called on Trump to withdraw after a 2005 Access Hollywood video surfaced in which he bragged about his ability to sexually assault beautiful women. But Huntsman has since warmed to the president and the two have maintained a cordial relationship, according to a source with knowledge of their recent conversations. "It's a bit bizarre because he was so anti-Trump last year," said one source close to the administration. "But it's also a smart choice, because he really knows his [stuff]."

The Russian ambassador position is viewed as one of the most sensitive and high profile ambassadorships, especially given the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian President Vladimir Putin's apparent efforts to tip last year's election in his favor and contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign. Should Huntsman accept and be confirmed as ambassador, Politico notes that it could come as a relief to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, 82, who is up for reelection next year. Huntsman has been seen as a potential challenger.

Regarding Huntsman's views on Russia, the WSJ adds that the former governor lately served as chairman of the Atlantic Council, a Washington, D.C.-based think tank deeply critical of Russian President Vladimir Putin and plans to patch up relations with him.  Some of Mr. Trump’s protégés have come under fire for too-close ties to the Kremlin, but Mr. Huntsman—a critic of Mr. Trump during the presidential campaign—will add to a stable of advisers who have openly disagreed with the president’s proposed Russia policies.

Last week the White House said it would tap Fiona Hill, a highly regarded Russia scholar with a "sober view" of Mr. Putin, to be the National Security Council’s senior director for Europe and Russia. Her boss at the NSC, Lt. Gen H.R. McMaster, is likewise a skeptic of U.S. rapprochement with the Kremlin, based on his past comments and views of those who know him.

With the appointment, Trump is clearly seeking to distance himself of being viewed as openly friendly toward Russia. Trump has complained about criticism of his advisers’ conversations with Russian officials and about leaks suggesting some of them are too close to Russia. Last week, Attorney General Jeff Sessions recused himself from investigations into the 2016 presidential campaign after questions arose about his conversations with the Russian ambassador to the U.S., Sergei Kislyak.

With pressure ratcheted up on his administration, Mr. Trump may be looking for a nominee who won’t create waves, said one former State Department official.

“Trump is bending to the critics of his efforts to have warmer relations with the Russians,” said the former official, who served under President George W. Bush. “He has selected a high-profile establishment Republican who is unlikely to face significant problems getting confirmed.”

In Moscow, he said, the selection will be viewed with “some skepticism and maybe concern.”

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FrozenGoodz's picture

Thanks, I like my life, I'll pass

Looney's picture


Jon Huntsman is a male version of Martha Stewart.  ;-)


xythras's picture
xythras (not verified) Looney Mar 9, 2017 7:55 AM

That will teach him to behave and respect the ruskies.

You know what they say: careful what you wish coz it might come true.

And on another note:

VIDEO: Hillary’s Campaign Manager Accidentally Spills the Beans About the Trump Wiretap


giovanni_f's picture

Most Yanks - Trump is one - understand just the thermonuclear language such as RS-28 Sarmat. Anything else is foolish blather.

Escrava Isaura's picture

Hope and Change.

Clean the Swamp.

Sure. Why not?

“The naive doesn’t see the danger until it is at his throat.” — Noam Chomsky


nmewn's picture

Because Trump is a top secret Russian agent, he offers Putin critic Huntsman ambassador post.

NYT's to explain to dazed & confused useful prog idiot's in tomorrow's editorial!

Stay tuned  ;-)

StackShinyStuff's picture

Yup - the Trump/Putin bromance narrative just collapsed.

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) StackShinyStuff Mar 9, 2017 8:07 AM

The truly naive doesn't see danger until Ryan Lochte comes down and pisses on their buildings.

BorisTheBlade's picture

Easy peasy. Tomorrow headlines: Trump appoints vocal Putin critic to maintain plausible deniability in his secret dealings with Russia.

Downside of such logic being applied is that both WaPo and NYT can equally be considered Russian agents.

onewayticket2's picture

and once again, the Pretzel Logic needed to be liberal is on display.

nmewn's picture

lol...incredibulll ain it?...I keep waiting for them to say "We never accused that fine American Trump of being a traitor just certain members of his team!"

Yeah...can't wait  ;-)

Vageling's picture

For a change you have said something I agree with there granny. It's a little late to get worried about getting shot after you've been shot. Or as the old saying goes where I hail from: "After the calf has drowned, people dampens the pit."

There will be no improvement in ties with Russia. That tumor called MIC is growing. Though I actually can understand Trump there. If you are backed up by the military good luck with a coup. As long he keeps the support from his peoples he ain't getting removed, period.The swamp is expanding. Let's just, for the sake of being positive, assume he has some actual plan.  

Blankone's picture

And there it is.  The Trump fan club acting like the three monkeys.  They will see nothing, hear nothing say nothing.  It is all part of Trump's master chess playing.  Just wait, Trump is gonna spring his masterful trap later.  Well it IS Trump playing chess (or rather those who control him) but the agenda is the opposite of what his fans believe.  Troops taking Syria, strikes now in Yemen, proposals to create entire safe regons "for the people" on Syria controlled by the US, Libya heating up, troops going to Kuwait, more troops and missiles being placed along borders with western Russia, new missiles being placed that pressure China, Russian diplomats continue to be murdered, potential replacement for North Korea's dictator murdered and then increased propoganda to justify military action against NK, .... and still they see Trump as change.

Putin's game of checkers has been kicked into the air by his opponents who play chess.  Some of us saw this coming when Putin was too fearful to establish a no-fly zone over Syria.  Now Putin will pay for having no balls.  What is happening will not be lost on the world.  They have been focused on Putin's ability to follow through after his bold appearing move into Syria ... and as Russia gets blocked and pushed to the west coast area by the US actually putting troops in the middle of Syria it only makes Russia look weak and completely incapable of drawing any realistic line in the sand.  Putin image is moving to impotence.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Escrava -- I don't mean to pick on you because your English surpasses my Portuguese by 100%, but I think you're on to something with "clean the swamp."  He's not draining the swamp, he's just tidying it up.

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

LTER, are you keeping track of all the promises reneged? It might be a good idea to keep a track of all the promises made and reneged. Maybe the faithfuls can then be shown that the seat of power changes hand from one snake oil salesman to another.

LetThemEatRand's picture

Some of the faithful are starting to see the light.   There will be some who will never admit they were wrong even if Trump comes right out and says "you fucked up, you trusted me."

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

I guess George Carlin was ahead of his times. This charade that happens every 'X' years actually does not matter, because they can say anything to get elected and then do whatever they want.

And the plebes get all excited thinking that they have finally found a "Saviour," who will take them to the promised land. I find it strange that only a few people realize that the saviour lies within, not without.

TheLastTrump's picture

It's nice to see all the fair weather friends of Trump outed in this exercise in bullshit thread.

BarkingCat's picture

I had 2 reasons for supporting Trump:

1) He would cause people likes of Pelosi so much stress that they would drop dead from a stroke.


2) He was not Hillary and was not hell bent on starting a war with Russia.

gatorengineer's picture

He gave me a SCOTUS candiate that congress wont act on apparently.

He is way better than Obozo, or Cuntlery


That being said, he is populating the swamp with NEOCONs and Goldmanites.....  and Sessions has been an Epic fail.

Sick Underbelly's picture

In hindsight, my getting flamed for saying Trumpy is just MOTSOS -- More Of The Same Old Shit -- was and is too much for the "Trump is Savior" crowd.

My problem is that we have 5+ year veterans around ZH saying, "give the guy 6 months to see what he does, and then judge."

The writing is already on the wall.

I think people forget that, for the most-important things--healthcare, FED, economy, budgeting, spending/money for THE WALL, etc--Trump has little to no control.   What is needed, and immeasurably more improbable, is a bunch of impassioned, emphatic, change-the-effin-system people in Congres... at least 170 in the House (for majority) and another 63 in Congress.

The US people, being as low-fo and undereducated as they are, default for hopium in ONE PERSON, forgetting most action that has teeth and will have economic impact is created by legislation.

My vote was against Hildebeast...although, in reality, not voting would have been a viable option, as my state easily went to vote really would not have made a difference.  I'm getting to the point where "A vote means you support the system" holds more truth than some implied mandate of voting because I'm a citizen.

crazzziecanuck's picture

Just as FDR couldn't accomplish the New Deal without constant pressure from below, neither can Trump drain the swamp without the implied threat of popular, vocal and widespread discontent.

It's just not there right now.

curbjob's picture

I disagree. 

At the first sign of restless natives I expect the jack boots to put down suppression fire the likes of which haven't been seen since the last turning.

Can't make an omelet without breaking a few eggs, etc

herbivore's picture

He could at least try. Perhaps draining the swamp is impossible but I don't see him making the effort to do so. I'd hold out hope he has some secret plan but given who he's appointed to his cabinet, there's not a swamp drainer among them. Maybe Jeff Sessions would be inclined to do so...I don't know.  

thunderchief's picture

The only thing sobering here is the Russians will never trust a US politician again.

To bad Americans haven't figured that out too.

Spoiler alert...A vote is not blind support. 

crazzziecanuck's picture

No one should ever trust an American politician in a position of authority.  Ever.

BarkingCat's picture

You could have stopped that sentence with politician.

Also could have skipped the qualifier "American".

Your statement is true but unnecessarily narrow.


Robert Trip's picture

Not one named source in this whole bullshit made for mass consumption article.

Anybody can write this shit.

Caleb Abell's picture

Grade A prime bullshit.

"... called on Trump to withdraw after a 2005 Access Hollywood video surfaced in which he bragged about his ability to sexually assault beautiful women"

What Trump actually said was "CELEBRITIES" could grab women, and they wouldn't mnd.  That, BTW, is true.  But if you quote people accurately, it may not serve your purpose, so why not change a word or two in the wistfull hope that folks who don't pay attention to detail will believe the bullshit.

Logan 5's picture
Logan 5 (not verified) Caleb Abell Mar 9, 2017 8:09 AM

"Anybody can write this shit"


When everybody's somebody...

Then nobody's anybody...

overmedicatedundersexed's picture

seems fuked up , but Trump won an election that nobody thought possible.

and it does get huntsman outta town..I would prefer he named him to say the republic of chad ..but oh well

IridiumRebel's picture

Neocons gonna neocon

shimmy's picture

Guess this is supposed to be swamp draining as well as more indications Trump is a Russian stooge as stooges always have their actions be negative towards the people they are supposedly stooges for.

Not like I expect the media to drop this crap. Trump could start a war with Russia and they'd still be calling him a Russian stooge. Well, they wouldn't since they'd then be slamming him for doing the very thing they seem to want him to do. 

snakehead's picture

This is the guy Trump wouldn't meet with because he gave everything away to China.  And apparently that wasn't the right country to give everything away to.

Ex-Oligarch's picture

So, Huntsman is strident but toothless?
Maybe this is Trump's way of taking a soft line against the Russians after all.
"I put a virulent neocon up against them, and this is the best deal he could come up with!"
Trump is learning typical double-reverse Washington SOP.  The "peacenik" democrats start the wars, the "fiscally responsible" republicans create the massive new bureaucracies. The hardliners cut the slack deals.

HRClinton's picture

Are you not entertained?  Are you not entertained? 

I am.

pine_marten's picture

And we hoped for a pull back of troops from Russia's frontier and an end to hostilities in Syria. Maybe Trump is angling for a peace prize.

Jayda1850's picture

400 more US troops now in Syria.

Edit: The really hilarious part is that the troop level is capped at 500, unless congress approves. We already had 500 there, but these troops don't count toward the total because they are only there temporarily, 120 days.

HRClinton's picture

Do they have Syrian travel visas?

Have they had extreme vetting?

sister tika's picture

The orders to send those troops to Russia's borders were sent out by the Obama Administration, not Trump's. Pentagon directives like this are started months ahead of the actual deployments.

BarkingCat's picture

He is president now.

Hi could have given the order to withdraw the troops on his first day in office.

Can't hide behind Obama's rainbow skirt on this one.

sister tika's picture

How many years did you serve in uniform in the US military? Things don't turn on a dime at the Pentagon. Has Trump also been busy with other "issues" since January 20th? Perhaps a little more patience is needed?

For what it's worth, BC, I'm on your side 100 percent. The JCS needs to pull all NATO troops away from the Russian border NOW.

Ace006's picture

Thing do need turn on a dime in the military. What do you think the JCS will do upon receipt of an order from Pres. Trump along the lines of "Immediately remove all US troops to positions no fewer than 500 miles from the Russian border."

I am a Man I am Forty's picture

Crowdstrike = Atlantic Council = Jon Huntsman


Crowdstrike paid by DNC, the main tech source that "Russia did it"


dogismycopilot's picture

This guy Huntsman is on the board of Caterpillar.

He also was a $500 k bundles /fund raiser for McCains presidential election.

He is a best friend of Mitt Romney.

There were a lot better candidates.

Unimpressed. This has Preibus' finger prints all over this.

TheLastTrump's picture

Your comment has the medias fingerprints all over it. Because until Trump/Spicer confirm it this is pending fake news.

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

So, when does he come out and condemn Wikileaks for the data dump on CIA? According to Spicer, "This is the kind of disclosure that undermines our country, our security and our well-being." So, it is fine when the data dumps help us, but not when it exposes the man behind the curtain? Brilliant!

Are we draining the swamp fast enough?

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

I guess we are tired of winning, then?

cossack55's picture

A national population should never consist of more than, say, 20% Charley Sheens.