Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. — President Donald Trump’s nominee for ambassador to Russia —had his confirmation hearing on Tuesday, and made a sharp distinction between himself and his future boss in an opening statement.
Huntsman, in contrast to Trump, was unequivocal in his condemnation of Russian interference in the U.S. election, making the following statement before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee:
“There is no question — underline no question — that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election last year, and Moscow continues to meddle in the democratic processes of our friends and allies,” Huntsman declared.
The former Republican governor added that Russian “interference in the U.S. election has led directly to the current low level of trust in the relationship” between the two countries.
Huntsman also noted that “Russia continues threaten stability in Europe, including by violating the sovereignty and territorial integrity of its neighbors. Russia also restricts the human rights of its own people.”
Those unequivocal comments from Huntsman on Russian election interference are based on the findings of the U.S. intelligence community — findings Trump has continued to call into question, seeing them as a way to deligitimize his 2016 victory.
Huntsman is expected to enjoy a breezy confirmation process, as he is well-liked by both Republican and Democratic members of the Foreign Relations Committee. Following his tenure as governor of Utah, Huntsman served as ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama.
Watch his statements above, via C-SPAN.
[image via screengrab]
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