Trump renominates McFarland to be ambassador to Singapore
The White House on Monday renominated K.T. McFarland to be ambassador to Singapore, even though her nomination appeared in doubt over her involvement in the Russia investigation.
McFarland’s name was included on a list of more than 80 nominees the White House sent to the Senate on Monday, many of which were resubmitted because the upper chamber did not complete work on them last year.
The decision is surprising because it will likely subject McFarland to questions about what she knew about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s former U.S. ambassador.
The White House did not immediately respond to a request for comment on McFarland’s nomination.
McFarland, who served as Flynn’s deputy, has been accused of deceiving the Senate about her knowledge of Flynn’s talks with Russia. She testified before Congress last year that she “was not aware” of those conversations.
But court documents associated with Flynn’s guilty plea in the special counsel probe into Russia’s election interference showed that he emailed with McFarland about his talks with then-Ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period in late 2016.
Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said last December that McFarland’s nomination was “frozen” until the matter is resolved.
“Her nomination is frozen for a while until that gets worked out,” Corker told CNN at the time. “She has to know that herself, and we’ll deal with it at the appropriate time.”
A Corker spokesperson said the committee will consider McFarland’s nomination, along with others, “in a timely fashion.”
“Nominees who previously appeared before the committee will not be subject to a second hearing; however, all nominees must be voted on by the committee again before being sent to the Senate floor for consideration,” said spokesperson Micah Johnson.
Corker flew with President Trump on Monday to the senator’s home state of Tennessee, where the president gave a speech to the American Farm Bureau.
The Russia investigation has already thwarted one of Trump’s nominees.
Sam Clovis withdrew from consideration to be the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist last November after questions emerged about his interactions with campaign adviser George Papadopoulos, who pleaded guilty to lying to investigators about his conversations about Russia.
— Updated at 10:03 p.m.
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