Incoming White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is backing candidates for ambassadorships that are opposed by other advisers to President-elect Donald Trump and who fall outside the far-right view for which he is known, according to a report Wednesday in The New York Times.
Bannon has spoken favorably of Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah who served as ambassador to China under President Obama, according to the Times. Huntsman has reportedly been suggested for ambassador to Japan.
Bannon has also backed Michele Flournoy, who was the third-highest-ranking Pentagon official under Obama, for ambassador to NATO, the newspaper reported.
Flournoy, who was widely believed to be Hillary Clinton’s choice for Defense secretary had she won, has already denied any interest in taking a role in the Trump administration.
Amid speculation that Flournoy was in the running for Trump’s deputy Defense secretary, her think tank, Center for a New American Security (CNAS), put out a statement saying she was staying put.
As we reported earlier this week, several top think tankers are still in the running for high-level posts in the incoming Trump Administration.
Think Tank Watch will continue to provide updates of all the think tankers who go into the Trump Administration as well as all the outgoing Obama officials who are beginning their post-government lives in think tank land.