President Donald Trump announced on Tuesday the nomination of Jon Huntsman for ambassador to Russia.
Huntsman previously served as ambassador to China during the Obama administration and ambassador to Singapore during the Bush administration. He was twice elected as governor of Utah and ran for president in 2011.
Huntsman also served as Deputy Trade Representative for the United States, Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for East Asian and Pacific Affairs, and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Trade Development.
“Governor Jon Huntsman has had a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman,” the White House said in a statement.
Huntsman endorsed Trump during the 2016 election, but urged him to withdraw when a tape surface of Trump’s “locker-room talk” with former Access Hollywood host Billy Bush.
The nomination comes on the heels of Trump’s trip to the G20 summit, where he spent more than two hours speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In that meeting, Trump brokered a cease-fire in southwest Syria and pressed Putin on U.S. intelligence alleging that Russia interfered in the U.S. election, which still lacks evidence.
The White House confirmed that it has selected Huntsman for the post back in March, but waited for Russia to confirm the nomination, according to the Washington Post. Russia confirmed the nomination on Monday at about the same time that the United States confirmed Anatoly Antonov as the Russian ambassador to Washington.
Huntsman’s nomination comes amid reports that Hillary Clinton sided with Russia in opposing U.S. sanctions related to human-rights abuses coinciding with her husband, Bill Clinton, earning $500,000 for a speech he gave in Moscow.