The Trump administration has reportedly offered the U.S. ambassadorship to Russia to former Utah governor Jon Huntsman.
Huntsman also served in the Obama administration as its ambassador to China. According to Politico, he was offered the post in Russia earlier this week. The news comes on the heels of earlier reports that he was in talks regarding the role.
The former Utah governor was also rumored to be on the short list for Secretary of State before President Trump eventually nominated Rex Tillerson for the job.
If true, the move would go against Trump’s reported tendency to nix those who have spoken negatively about him. While Huntsman did endorse Trump’s candidacy, he was one of the people who called for him to drop out of the race after the release of the 2005 ‘Access Hollywood’ tape in which Trump is heard using extremely lewd language and talking about sexually assaulting women.
“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom — at such a critical moment for our nation — and with so many who have tried to be respectful of a record primary vote, the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman told the Salt Lake Tribune at the time.
A source who is close to the administration remarked that the move is a “bit bizarre because he was so anti-Trump last year.”
“But it’s also a smart choice, because he really knows his [stuff],” the source added.
For his part, Huntsman has become more supportive of the President over time, and “the two have maintained a cordial relationship,” according to Politico.