This is an archived article that was published on in 2017, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman has kept relatively mum about accepting President Donald Trump's offer to appoint him U.S. ambassador to Russia.

On Wednesday, at a Huntsman Cancer Institute event, he broke that silence. Barely.

In his opening remarks about a new expansion to the institute founded by his parents, Jon Huntsman Sr. and Karen Huntsman, the younger Huntsman joked about the unusual setup of having him, a diplomat, introduce a children's cancer facility.

"It's good training for Russia," he noted with a laugh.

And that was all he said on the matter before turning to the "pure hope" offered at the cancer center. Huntsman did not respond to reporters' questions after the event, and his aides told the media he would not comment on the ambassadorship.

Huntsman has not been formally nominated for the position by the White House. The Trump administration, though, confirmed about three months ago that Huntsman was offered and had accepted the role; he submitted the required paperwork in early April.

He has previously served as U.S. ambassador to China under former President Barack Obama. Additionally, he served as ambassador to Singapore under President George H.W. Bush and as deputy U.S. trade representative — an ambassador level post — in the George W. Bush administration.

A senior White House official told The Salt Lake Tribune in May that there is no problem with Huntsman's nomination, noting that vetting takes time with someone who travels internationally.

Huntsman's nomination may also be delayed by the current investigations into Russia's meddling in the 2016 election as a cloud hangs over Trump's campaign staff amid questions about ties with Russian leaders.

Twitter: @CourtneyLTanner

Editor's note: Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman's brother Paul Huntsman is the owner and publisher of The Salt Lake Tribune