Huntsman did not respond to a POLITICO request for comment. Sources say he plans to accept the job, one of the most sensitive and high-profile ambassadorships, especially given the FBI and congressional investigations into Russian President Vladimir Putin’s apparent efforts to tip last year’s election in his favor and contacts between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.
Should Huntsman accept and be confirmed as ambassador, it could come as a relief to Utah Republican Sen. Orrin Hatch, 82, who is up for reelection next year. Huntsman has been seen as a potential challenger.
“It’s a bit bizarre because he was so anti-Trump last year,” said one source close to the administration. “But it’s also a smart choice, because he really knows his [stuff].”