Jon Huntsman Jr., U.S. Ambassador to Russia, Reveals Cancer Diagnosis

Ravell Call, Deseret News
Ambassador Jon M. Huntsman Jr. is interviewed at the Spaso House in Moscow, Russia on Tuesday, Sept. 25, 2018.

The Deseret News sent reporter Jesse Hyde and photojournalist Ravell Call to Moscow to meet with Jon Huntsman Jr., the U.S. ambassador to Russia.

In a series of conversations, Huntsman talked about what it’s like to work for President Donald Trump amid a tense relationship with Russia. He revealed that he has dealt with a health scare, as well as what he sees as the next major form of international warfare.

Here are seven takeaways from the exclusive report.

Cancer diagnosis

  • “It’s just stage 1,” he said. “So we’ll probably get it taken care of, and we’ll be fine.”
  • It’s the same type of cancer that killed Arizona Sen. John McCain after it metastasized to the brain.
  • Huntsman received treatment while in Utah.

Russian election meddling

Hyde asked Huntsman “if the president had held Russia accountable for election interference in the private meetings in Helsinki.”

“Every one,” Huntsman replied. “Every one of them. I’ve been in all of them. Election meddling is brought up.”

“By the president?” Hyde asked.

“So this is the secretary of state, the national security adviser, but yeah, the president talked about all these issues in the private meeting with President Putin where they were together. I’d guess it was brought up because they’re pretty consistent in terms of talking about it and certainly over lunch these issues were talked about.”

“… A lot of diplomacy is conducted behind closed doors,” Huntsman continued. “Emphatic statements have been made. There is no lingering doubt about the importance of this issue. I can’t imagine anyone in the high commands of the Russian government would be thinking, gee, maybe we can do this.”

Would he resign?

After the Helsinki summit meeting between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, Huntsman was asked if he would resign. The question, reported Hyde, “troubled” Huntsman. “He worried about what it said about the current state of America,” the story reads.

Cyber warfare

Huntsman said cyber-warfare is on the rise and no one knows how to stop it.

  • “We still don’t know how to provide a defense against cyberattacks, still.”
  • “You can plus up and get better technology and better prophylactic measures but anyone who wants to attack you on the offensive side has an advantage, which in the other domains of war is not the case.”

The midterm elections

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SOURCE: The Deseret News – Herb Scribner