US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr. resigns

In this AFP file photo taken on October 22, 2018 US Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr arrives at a meeting of Russia's Foreign Minister and the National Security Adviser to the US President in central Moscow.

US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has resigned to go back to his country and reportedly pick another gubernatorial role.

Huntsman turned in his resignation letter to President Donald Trump Tuesday.

“American citizenship is a privilege and I believe the most basic responsibility in return is service to country,” he said in a statement. “To that end, I am honored by the trust you have placed in me as the United States ambassador to Russia during this historically difficult period in bilateral relations."

Russian President Vladimir Putin greets US ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Jr during a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi on May 14, 2019. (AFP photo)

Back in 2017 when Trump appointed him for the post, Huntsman had reportedly said that he would serve in the role for two years.

“It is my hope that this will allow sufficient time for a successor to be nominated and confirmed,” said the outgoing US envoy. “I pledge my full effort in facilitating a smooth transition that ensures our foreign policy goals are kept in proper focus.”

He came under fire when Trump sided with Russian President Vladimir Putin in a summit in Helsinki, Finland, in 2018 about Moscow’s alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election.

"I have great confidence in my intelligence people, but I will tell you that President Putin was extremely strong and powerful in his denial today," Trump told reporters at the time.

Both Trump and Russia have repeatedly denied the accusations. Trump also sought to discredit the so-called Russia probe, calling it a “witch hunt.”

"We must continue to hold Russia accountable when its behavior threatens us and our allies. While much of what divides us is irreconcilable, there are common interests we cannot ignore," Huntsman's letter said.

"No reset or restart is going to help, just a clear understanding of our interests and values."

Huntsman’s resignation will take effect October 3, when he will go home “to reconnect with our growing family and responsibilities.”

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