Washington • Jon Huntsman says he’s staying put as U.S. ambassador to Russia to help arrange the global’s “most dangerous relationship” — in spite of requires him to renounce in the wake of President Donald Trump’s extensively panned summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In a letter to The Salt Lake Tribune, addressed to columnist Robert Gehrke, who had suggested Huntsman to step down, the ambassador says he will have to proceed his important undertaking to constitute the pursuits of the United States and that “popular punditry is ill-suited” to describe the paintings of diplomats in Washington’s delicate courting with Moscow.
“I have taken an unscientific survey among my colleagues, whom you reference, about whether I should resign,” Huntsman wrote. “The laughter told me everything I needed to know.”
The former Utah governor, whom Trump picked as America’s most sensible envoy to Russia, does now not reference the U.S. president’s remarks made along Putin wherein he discounted U.S. intelligence findings that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election or the two-hour non-public assembly Trump had with Putin. (Trump later walked again his statement that he didn’t suppose Russia used to be at the back of the interference.)
Huntsman — who has now not spoken publicly about the summit in Helsinki between the two global leaders — wrote in the letter that politics does now not play a job in international relations.
“Representatives of our foreign service, civil service, military and intelligence services have neither the time nor inclination to obsess over politics, though the issues of the day are felt by all,” Huntsman wrote. “Their focus is on the work that needs to be done to stabilize the most dangerous relationship in the world, one that encompasses nuclear weapons, fighting terrorism, stopping bloodshed in Ukraine, and seeking a settlement of the seemingly intractable Syrian crisis.”
Nowhere in his letter does Huntsman point out Russia’s extensively reported cyberattack on U.S. elections. He does level to the greater difficulties posed by staff shortages in the wake of the tit-for-tat diplomatic expulsions that experience frayed Washington’s ties with Moscow.
Gehrke, in a column published Tuesday, argued that Huntsman will have to go away his Senate-confirmed submit as a result of closing silent and serving beneath Trump “would be complicity in the undoing of our nation and its status as a world leader.”
The columnist additionally made reference to Huntsman’s two sons, who’re each serving in the U.S. Navy, announcing the ambassador would honor their carrier through leaving.
“As for my sons, active-duty naval officers whom you also call out, I honor their courageous service each time I salute the Marine guards protecting our large embassy compound,” Huntsman spoke back. “Their words when asked if I should resign are unprintable.”
It used to be unclear if Huntsman used to be referring to feedback through the Marines or his sons.
But Huntsman, who in the past served as U.S. ambassador to Singapore and to China for Republican and Democratic presidents, desires to stay in Moscow at a time when family members between the two nuclear powers are at a essential low.
“This response is entirely consistent with his career in public service,” mentioned Jason Perry, director of the University of Utah’s Hinckley Institute of Politics who labored for Huntsman when he used to be Utah governor.
“He’s proven time and time again, it’s more than politics for him. It’s about the United States of America,” Perry added. “The reason why he said he would stay is because he understands how precarious this relationship is. It goes to his patriotism more than anything else that he sees that he has to stay the course. With his experience, he must be the person staying on the wall.”
An authentic mentioned the State Department had “not anything to upload to Ambassador Huntsman’s feedback.”
Editor’s word • Paul Huntsman, a brother of Ambassador Jon Huntsman, is the proprietor and writer of The Salt Lake Tribune.