Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman, President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Russia, said on Tuesday there was “no question” that Moscow meddled in the 2016 U.S. election, and pledged to bring up the issue with the Russian government.
“There is no question, underline no question, that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election last year,” Huntsman, who has also served as U.S. ambassador to China, said at his U.S. Senate confirmation hearing.”Moscow continues to meddle in the democratic processes of our friends and allies,” Huntsman said.
Russia has denied interfering in the election, but U.S. intelligence agencies’ conclusion that it did so to boost Trump’s chances of being elected have shadowed the first months of the Republican’s presidency.
Congressional committees and a special counsel are investigating whether Trump associates colluded with Russia. The White House denies any collusion. Huntsman said he would raise the issue with Russian authorities.
“I will also not hesitate to remind government officials that they are accountable for their actions. Exhibit A is the fact that interference in the U.S. election has led directly to the current low level of trust in the relationship,” he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
He also said, however, he would try to work with Moscow in areas where Russia and the United States have common interests, such as international efforts to curb North Korea’s nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.
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