Throughout his worsening Trump-Russia scandal, no matter how damning the evidence has become that Russia rigged the election and that his own campaign and family were in on it, Donald Trump has steadfastly insisted that it never happened. Few outside Trump’s shrinking base actually believe this nonsense, as it’s already been proven ten times over that Russia meddled in the election in every way it could think of, but Trump has stuck with the lie. Now Trump’s own Ambassador to Russia is selling him out on this.
It’s still far from clear why Utah businessman and politician Jon Huntsman accepted Donald Trump’s offer to become the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, particularly considering the ugly nature of the Trump-Russia scandal. What is clear, however, is that Huntsman is not willing to stick to Trump’s party line. He’s flat out admitting that Russia meddled in the 2016 election, and he’s making threats against Russia if it tries to meddle in future U.S. elections (link). So what is Huntsman doing here?
Huntsman probably has little if any ability to stifle Russia in his role as Ambassador. But his mere willingness to voice this kind of rhetoric means that he’s very publicly selling Donald Trump out. This pokes severe holes in Trump’s already non-credible claim that Russian involvement in the 2016 election is “fake news.” As has been the case with so many of his handpicked people, Trump appears to have read Huntsman wrong altogether. Huntsman is clearly more interested in preserving his own public credibility than in trying to prop up Trump’s most cherished rhetoric.
As Palmer Report has previously documented, Jon Huntsman and his family business have long been doing huge amounts of business with Russia (link. Huntsman is set to inherit the business from his elderly father. Did he take the Ambassador job in the hope of establishing new business ties in Russia that he can use down the road? In any case, Huntsman is clearly unwilling to do Trump’s bidding.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report