Trump picks former Utah governor as Russian Federation envoy

Former Utah governor and Republican presidential candidate Jon Huntsman Jr. has accepted President Trump's offer to be the U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Fox News has confirmed.

Two unnamed sources told Politico that Huntsman was offered the key post at the end of last week.

President Trump has reportedly tapped one of his critics to be the USA ambassador to Russian Federation.

Huntsman is now the chairman of the Atlantic Council, a foreign policy think tank.

The former Utah governor endorsed Trump's presidential bid a year ago, but later called for Trump to drop out of the race after the release of the 2005 tape in which the GOP candidate was heard talking about sexual assaulting women.

The tweet came after Huntsman dropped out of the Republican presidential race.

The position, which requires Senate confirmation, would put Huntsman in Moscow at a time when US-Russian ties have sunk to a post-Cold War low.

If confirmed by the Senate, Huntsman would assume the diplomatic post at a critical time as the federal government engages in a broad investigation into links between Mr. Trump's associates and Russian Federation during the 2016 presidential campaign. Huntsman was at times a critic of Trump during his campaign, though the former Utah governor endorsed Trump in April, 2016.

Trump's misgivings about Huntsman date back much further to a series of tweets from 2011 and 2012, in which the mogul called the then Ambassador to China a "lightweight" and "weak". That position remains unfilled, after Trump squashed Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's choice, Elliott Abrams, who had been critical of the real estate mogul during the campaign.