The Slatest

Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman Has Stage 1 Cancer

Jon Huntsman walking in the Kremlin
U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman at the presentation of his credentials to the Russian president during a ceremony at the Kremlin in Moscow on Oct. 3, 2017. AFP Contributor/Getty Images

U.S. ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman has Stage 1 melanoma, he told the Deseret News Thursday. “It’s just stage 1,” he told the Utah newspaper. “So we’ll probably get it taken care of, and we’ll be fine.” Huntsman said he that he noticed two small black spots on his skin and that he had gotten it checked out in Utah, where he had the moles removed.

Huntsman was Utah’s governor from 2005 to 2009, before serving as ambassador to China under Barack Obama and then running for the Republican nomination in 2012. The Deseret News story also revealed that both Vice President Pence and national security adviser John Bolton had asked Huntsman immediately after the infamous Helsinki summit between President Trump and Vladimir Putin if he planned on resigning.

Slate’s own William Saletan floated Huntsman as the likely author of the anonymous New York Times op-ed by a “senior” member of the Trump administration criticizing the president, especially on foreign policy and Russia specifically. His spokesman released a curiously not very definitive denial, in which Huntsman said, “Anything sent out by me would have carried my name. An early political lesson I learned: never send an anonymous op-ed.”