Jon Huntsman quits as ambassador to Russia and will return to Utah

Diplomat Jon Huntsman has resigned as Donald Trump‘s ambassador to Russia.

His final day as Trump’s man in Moscow will be Oct. 3, he said in a letter to Trump that emerged on Tuesday.

In the three-page resignation announcement, the departing diplomat fired a parting shot at Vladimir Putin, warning the U.S. president he is not to be trusted.

‘Going forward, we must continue to hold Russia accountable when its behavior threatens us and our allies,’ he told Trump.   

Huntsman reminded him that Russia has a history of disrespecting human rights and violating the sovereignty of its neighbors. And he cautioned Trump against the kind of ‘reset’ with Russia that humiliated the Obama administration.

‘No reset or restart is going to help, just a clear understanding of our interests and values — and a practical framework for sustained dialogue,’ he told Trump.  

U.S. diplomat Jon Huntsman has resigned as Donald Trump's ambassador to Russia. He's pictured here his first month on the job in 2017 with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin

U.S. diplomat Jon Huntsman has resigned as Donald Trump's ambassador to Russia. He's pictured here his first month on the job in 2017 with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin

U.S. diplomat Jon Huntsman has resigned as Donald Trump’s ambassador to Russia. He’s pictured here his first month on the job in 2017 with Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin

Huntsman is anticipated to seek the governor's mansion in his home state of Utah

Huntsman is anticipated to seek the governor's mansion in his home state of Utah

Huntsman is anticipated to seek the governor’s mansion in his home state of Utah

In a resignation letter, the exiting diplomat fired a parting shot at Putin and his government

In a resignation letter, the exiting diplomat fired a parting shot at Putin and his government

In a resignation letter, the exiting diplomat fired a parting shot at Putin and his government

TRUMP’S HIGH-PROFILE DEPARTURE LOUNGE

Here are just some of the top officials who have left Trump’s administration and when their departures were announced

2017

Inauguration Day was January 20

January 31: Acting Attorney General Sally Yates 

February 13: National Security Adviser Michael Flynn

March 30: Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Walsh 

April 9: Deputy National Security Adviser K.T. McFarland

May 9: FBI Director James Comey 

May 30: Communications Director Michael Dubke 

July 21: Press Secretary Sean Spicer 

July 28: Chief of Staff Reince Priebus 

July 31: Communications Director Anthony Scaramucci 

August 18: Chief Strategist Steve Bannon

August 25: National security aide Sebastian Gorka 

September 1: Director of Oval Office Operations Keith Schiller

September 29: Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price 

December 8: Deputy National Security adviser Dina Powell 

December 13: Communications director for the White House Office of Public Liaison Omarosa Manigault Newman

2018

February 7: Staff Secretary Rob Porter 

February 28: Communications Director Hope Hicks 

March 6: Director of the National Economic Council Gary Cohn 

March 12: Special assistant and personal aide to the president John McEntee

March 13: Secretary of State Rex Tillerson 

March 22: National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster 

March 28: Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin 

April 10: Homeland Security Adviser Tom Bossert 

April 11: Deputy National Security Adviser Nadia Schadlow 

April 12: Deputy National Security adviser Ricky Waddell 

May 2:  White House attorney Ty Cobb

June 5: Communications aide Kelly Sadler 

 July 5: Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt

August 29: White House Counsel Don McGahn  

October 9: U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley

November 7: Attorney General Jeff Sessions 

December 9: Chief of Staff John Kelly

December 15: Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke

December 20: Defense Secretary Jim Mattis

2019

March 8: Communications Director Bill Shine 

April 8: Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen

June 13: White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders 

June 18: Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan

June 25: Acting Customs and Border Patrol Commissioner John Sanders 

July 12: Labor Secretary Alex Acosta 

July 28: Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats 

August 6: Ambassador to Russia, Jon Huntsman  

 

In the letter that first appeared in the Salt Lake Tribune, which is owned by Huntsman’s brother, the exiting U.S. ambassador said that many of the differences between the U.S. and Russia are ‘irreconcilable,’ because Moscow refuses to disavow the malign behavior that fostered frosty relations between the two nations in the first place.

‘Through our diplomacy, we have worked to stabilize years of acrimony and incertitude with the hope of a better relationship,’ he said of the team he leaves behind. ‘Failure is not an option.’

He noted that it is a ‘historically difficult time’ in relations, hinting at Russian election interference and years-long investigations into the conduct.   

The poisoning of a former Russian spy and his daughter, who were living in London a the time, and Russia’s continued occupation of the Crimea, have also strained relations between Western nations and Moscow.

Trump ordered out 60 Russian diplomats after the attempted assassination with a military grade nerve agent of defected agent Seregi Skripal.   

Moscow responded in kind, expelling five dozen American diplomats last March.

Even so, Huntsman said the lines of communication between the major powers must remain unclogged, so that the nations can continue their joint work on issues of global importance like combating terrorism and arms control measures.

The U.S. said last week that it was leaving an international agreement regulating ground-based missiles.

His mention of a reset or a restart with Russia referred to failed attempts by the last two administrations to warm relations with Moscow. 

Obama-era Secretary of State Hillary Clinton infamously gave Putin a ‘reset’ button at the beginning of the Democrat’s presidency. Trump has repeatedly talked about wanting to have a ‘good relationship’ with Putin, in spite of intelligence community assessments that the Kremlin routinely attempts to disrupt U.S. elections.

Huntsman is anticipated to seek the governor’s mansion in his home state, and Trump reportedly previewed the move to Putin last week. 

A White House readout of the call said the leaders discussed raging fires in Siberia and trade. The call was first reported in Russian media.

A White House official confirmed to DailyMail.com on Tuesday afternoon that Huntsman was leaving, shortly before his resignation letter started to circulate. 

‘The President has received Ambassador Huntsman’s letter of resignation. We appreciate his service to the nation, applaud his dedicated work toward improving the U.S.-Russia relationship, and wish him the best in the next chapter,’ the person said.

Reached by CNN, Huntsman was non-committal about his political future on Tuesday.

‘We shall see, it’s been a long two years,’ he said of a second stint as Utah governor.

Huntsman has already served as Utah governor for four years. He left the job to become Barack Obama’s ambassador to China. 

He’s been Trump’s ambassador to Russia since October of 2017,  a full two years from the time he’ll cease to be the administration’s man in Moscow. 

His replacement will be closely watched, amid continued scrutiny of Trump’s pre-White House business interests in Russia.

link

(Visited 16 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *