President Donald Trump’s top representative to the Kremlin is stepping down this fall, according to a resignation letter sent to the president Tuesday morning.
“American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country,” Huntsman’s letter begins. “To that end, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations.”
Voicing appreciation for the team he’s worked with, the ambassador adds that the Mission Russia team “is first-rate and every American would be proud of their work. Their efforts away from loved ones, in one of the world’s most forbidding environments, are nothing short of inspiring. They deserve our endless gratitude.”
“Yet,” he later explains to the president, “as I have shared with you and Secretary [Mike] Pompeo, our desire is to return to the United States after two years to reconnect with our growing family and responsibilities at home.”
He also says that he hopes that giving the White House also two months’ notice on his departure “will allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed.”
Huntsman is a former Utah governor who served as ambassador to China under the Obama administration. Before that, Huntsman served as deputy U.S. trade representative under George W. Bush and was the ambassador to Singapore under George H.W. Bush. Huntsman was confirmed to his current role in September 2017 by a unanimous vote of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee followed by a voice vote on the Senate floor.
The Salt Lake Tribune now says that Huntsman may make a move to return the Utah governor’s mansion “according to those close to him.”
Meanwhile, the Beehive State’s next race for governor in 2020 has already been shaping up. Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox has already announced a campaign and businessman Jeff Burningham is “exploring a run” according to a website run by “Jeff Burningham for Governor.” Retiring Republican Rep. Rob Bishop is also considering a run.