The White House announced Tuesday that President Trump will nominate former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman to be U.S. ambassador to Russia.
The White House confirmed in March that Huntsman, who served as ambassador to China under President Obama, was Trump's choice for the Russia post. But the official nomination has been delayed for months as the U.S. waited for the Russian government's approval, The Washington Post reported.
Trump made several negative comments about Huntsman while he served as ambassador to China. Trump called Huntsman "weak" and claimed that China "did a major number on us" during his tenure.
A White House press statement, however, said Huntsman "has had a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman."
Word of the impending nomination comes as Trump faces criticism for a second, previously undisclosed meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the G20 heads of state dinner, which took place hours after their official bilateral meeting.
Trump denounced the news coverage of the meeting, calling it "sick."
Fake News story of secret dinner with Putin is "sick." All G 20 leaders, and spouses, were invited by the Chancellor of Germany. Press knew!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 19, 2017