Jon Huntsman Is Said to Accept Post as Ambassador to Russia
WASHINGTON — Jon M. Huntsman Jr. has accepted President Trump’s offer to be ambassador to Russia, people with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday, taking on an assignment that is challenging in the best of times, and even more so now, given the questions swirling around Mr. Trump’s presidential campaign and its ties to Russian officials.
华盛顿——了解情况的人士周四透露，洪博培(Jon M. Huntsman Jr.)已接受特朗普总统的邀请，担任美国驻俄罗斯大使。这项任务即便是在最好的时候也颇具挑战性，而目前，考虑到特朗普的总统竞选和它与俄罗斯官员之间的关系引发的质疑，其挑战性进一步增加。
Mr. Huntsman, a former Republican governor of Utah, served as President Barack Obama’s ambassador to China from 2009 to 2011. Several experts said he would need great political dexterity to navigate Moscow at a time when Mr. Trump has called for better ties, but Russia’s role in the 2016 campaign remains the subject of intense scrutiny.
Russia’s ambassador to Washington, Sergey I. Kislyak, has been thrust into a political maelstrom after two of Mr. Trump’s most senior advisers, Jeff Sessions and Michael T. Flynn, acknowledged previously undisclosed meetings with him during the campaign and the transition.
在特朗普的两名亲信杰夫·塞申斯(Jeff Sessions)和迈克尔·T·弗林(Michael T. Flynn)承认曾在竞选和过渡期间与其秘密会面后，俄罗斯驻美大使谢尔盖·I·基斯利亚克(Sergey I. Kislyak)便陷入了一场政治混乱。
Mr. Huntsman, who ran for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, had no ties to the Trump campaign. Although he endorsed Mr. Trump for president in April 2016, he later called on him to withdraw from the race after the release of a recording from “Access Hollywood” in which Mr. Trump made sexually demeaning comments about women.
Mr. Simes was in Moscow last week, as word of Mr. Huntsman’s candidacy began circulating through the foreign-policy establishment. He said Russian officials reacted favorably, though some expressed concern about Mr. Huntsman’s ties to the Atlantic Council, a think tank of which he is chairman of the board, because it is perceived in Moscow as anti-Russian.
“Russian officials would be a little worried about that part of Huntsman’s background,” Mr. Simes said. “What they will like about him is that he was a former ambassador to China, he is independently wealthy, and he will have access to the president.”