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Trump's envoy pick for Moscow: Russia meddled in US election

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Jon Huntsman testifies before the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee on his nomination to be ambassador to Russia, on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on September 19, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump’s nominee to be ambassador to Russia has taken a firm stance against Russia, saying there is "no question" the Kremlin meddled in the 2016 presidential election.

"There is no question, underline no question, that the Russian government interfered in the US election last year," Former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman said during his confirmation hearing on Tuesday. 

The US intelligence community has concluded that Russia attempted to sway the election in favor of Trump by hacking computers belonging to his rival’s campaign and dumping potentially compromising information online.

Russia has consistently denied the accusations.

"Moscow continues to meddle in the democratic processes of our friends and allies," said Huntsman, who has also served as US ambassador to China.

The FBI and some congressional committees have been investigating allegations of coordination between the Russian government and some Trump associates during the 2016 campaign and transition.

US President Donald Trump (R) meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G20 Summit, July 7, 2017, in Hamburg. (Photo by AFP)

Trump, however, has repeatedly rejected reports about Russia's attempts to interfere in last year’s election and has expressed support for improving relations with the former Cold War foe.

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Huntsman further pledged to bring up the issue with the Russian government.

"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 US election has led directly to the current low level of trust in the relationship," he told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Hunstman, however, said he would make effort to work with Moscow in areas of common interest between the United States and Russia, such as international efforts to curb North Korea's nuclear weapons and ballistic missile development.


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