President Donald Trump will nominate former Utah Gov.
Attorney General Jeff Sessions, senior White House adviser Jared Kushner and former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn all met with Russian ambassador to the U.S. Sergey Kislyak in the a year ago as the country was working to influence the U.S. presidential election.
Mr. Huntsman is no stranger to major diplomatic posts - having been picked by President Obama to be the top US emissary in China and by President George H.W. Bush as ambassador to Singapore.
Sources close to Huntsman, a 2012 Republican presidential nominee, confirmed to the media on Thursday that he had accepted Trump's offer. However, Huntsman was ambassador to Singapore under George H.W. Bush - the youngest US ambassador in over 100 years. He's since forged closer ties to the campaign, defending Trump's controversial call with the Taiwanese leader in December that undermined decades of US understanding with Beijing over the "One China" policy.
The tensions peaked in December when Obama expelled 35 Russian suspected spies after US intelligence agencies concluded that Russia hacked and leaked Democratic emails during the 2016 election campaign as part of an effort to tilt the vote in Trump's favor. Intelligence agencies investigating the hacking of Democratic groups and Hillary Clinton's top campaign aide concluded that the intrusions were carried out on Kremlin orders. The intelligence community has found no evidence of any collusion between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation on the matter.
The claim was that this was part of an effort to tilt the vote in Trump's favour.
Huntsman and Trump were not always allies. The governor subsequently called for Trump to drop out of the race following the release of a 2005 video in which Trump could be heard making lewd comments about groping women.