U.S. President Donald Trump’s envoy in Russia, who has been under pressure to resign in the wake of his boss’s summit with President Vladimir Putin, says he won’t step down.
U.S. Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman responded Saturday to a call to resign by his family-owned newspaper.
In a piece published in The Salt Lake Tribune, which is owned by Hunstman’s brother, he had been urged to step down over Trump’s siding with Putin rather than the U.S. intelligence community over Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.
“The laughter told me everything I needed to know,” the ambassador and former Utah governor wrote in a column Saturday. “It also underscores the fragile nature of this moment.”
He further cited his colleagues working in Russia, saying they “have neither the time nor inclination to obsess over politics, though the issues of the day are felt by all.”
“Their focus is on the work that needs to be done to stabilize the most dangerous relationship in the world, one that encompasses nuclear weapons, fighting terrorism, stopping bloodshed in Ukraine, and seeking a settlement of the seemingly intractable Syrian crisis,” Huntsman wrote. “Their dedication to service to their country is above politics, and it inspires me to the core. It is my standard.”
Meanwhile, members of Congress are mounting pressure on the White House to let them know what happened in the two-hour private meeting between Trump and Purlin.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said he has “no idea” what Russian Ambassador to the United States Anatoly Antonov meant, when he said Wednesday that Trump and Putin had entered “important verbal agreements,” voicing concerns that the administration and the Kremlin were “setting up a second meeting so they can begin implementation”
“I don’t know what happened privately, nobody does,” said Ohio Senator Rob Portman. “It’s not enough just to raise it privately because everyone is watching, including our allies, including the people of Russia, including our intelligence agencies.”
Arizona Senator Jeff Flake, who is a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, also warned that Russians may take advantage of the situation as the U.S. lawmakers are kept in the dark.
“The White House better get out in front of this before the Russians start characterizing this,” he said. “The Russians will use this… There’s so little trust of this president, our president, among our allies.”
The summit in Helsinki last Wednesday kicked off a hailstorm of criticism against Trump, forcing him to deny his comment about alleged Russian meddling.
Trump claimed that he had misspoken during his joint press conference with Putin in the Finnish capital.
Ever since Trump was inaugurated in January 2017, the U.S. intelligence community has overwhelmingly maintained that Moscow sought to meddle in the 2016 election.
This article has been adapted from its original source.
Copyright © 2022 Press TV. All rights reserved.