Former Utah governor Jon Huntsman who once urged Donald Trump to back down from the presidential runoff, was elected by an easy confirmation Thursday as U.S. ambassador to Russia, assuming a high-profile diplomatic position amid the increased tensions with Moscow, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The Senate approved Huntsman’s nomination unanimously. He went easily through his confirmation hearing last week as Republicans and Democrats praised his qualifications for the post.
In addition to Huntsman, who previously served as an ambassador to China and Singapore, the Senate also confirmed John Bass as the new U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Wess Mitchell as the assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs, a critical post for the U.S.-Russian diplomatic efforts.
During his appearance before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Huntsman struck a tough tone. The relationship has been tarnished in recent months by the allegations that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election last year. Russia has rejected those allegations, and Trump has said the allegations are a hoax pushed by Democrats to sully his victory at the elections.