Huntsman sails through confirmation hearing, disagreeing with President on Russian hacking

Posted at 6:09 PM, Sep 19, 2017

WASHINGTON DC - It turns out Washington politicians can get along despite party differences, so long as Utah's former governor Jon Huntsman Jr. is in the room.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee as the nominee to be U.S. ambassador to Russia, Huntsman received praise from every Senator who spoke.

"I really just wanted to come back to compliment you as one of the very highest quality nominees for an ambassadorial post I have seen in my seven years on the Foreign Relations Committee," Senator Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware said.

There was a thread of criticism of President Donald Trump in the hearing.  Senator Christopher Murphy, a Democrat from Connecticut spelled it out most clearly.

"How do you represent to the Russians your belief that they unquestionably interfered in the U.S. election when your boss, the President of the United States, participated in an intentional campaign at the very least to cloud the issue," Murphy asked.

Huntsman made clear to the committee that he believes Russia did interfere in the 2016 Presidential Election.

"There is no question, underline no question, that the Russian government interfered in the U.S. election last year and Moscow continues to meddle in the Democratic processes of our friends and allies," Huntsman said.

President Trump has repeatedly said it isn't clear to him whether Russia was responsible for cyber attacks on the Democratic Party and the campaign of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. ​

Huntsman's confirmation is all but assured, but the timing is not.  It could take days or weeks before the full Senate votes and he can take his post in Moscow.