K.T. McFarland withdraws as nominee for ambassador

President TrumpDonald John TrumpWhite House sued over lack of sign language interpreters at coronavirus briefings Wife blames Trump, lack of masks for husband's coronavirus death in obit: 'May Karma find you all' Trump authorizes reduced funding for National Guard coronavirus response through 2020 MORE said Friday he is withdrawing former top adviser K.T. McFarland’s nomination to be U.S. ambassador to Singapore, which ran aground over her involvement in the Russia investigation.

Trump said he was “disappointed” and blamed Democrats for derailing her ambassadorial bid.

“Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post,” he said in a statement. 


McFarland’s nomination faced opposition from Republicans and Democrats over accusations she deceived the Senate about what she knew about former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s talks with Russia.

McFarland, who served as Flynn’s deputy, testified she “was not aware” of those conversation. But court documents later revealed Flynn had emailed with her about his contacts with the Russian envoy during the 2016 presidential transition.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerCheney clashes with Trump Sessions-Tuberville Senate runoff heats up in Alabama GOP lawmakers stick to Trump amid new criticism MORE (R-Tenn.) said last December McFarland's nomination was "frozen" until the discrepancy was resolved.

McFarland, a former Fox News personality, made no mention of the situation in her letter to Trump requesting her withdraw her nomination.

“I am asking that you withdraw my nomination to be the U.S. ambassador to Singapore,” she wrote in a letter to Trump, which was obtained by Reuters. “I have come to this decision reluctantly, because I believe in your mission.”

Despite facing serious obstacles to confirmation, the White House renominated McFarland last month to the Singapore post. 


McFarland is the second Trump nominee to be thwarted by the Russia probe.   

Sam Clovis withdrew from consideration to become the Department of Agriculture’s chief scientist last fall after questions emerged about his interactions with campaign adviser George PapadopoulosGeorge Demetrios PapadopoulosTrump says he would consider pardons for those implicated in Mueller investigation New FBI document confirms the Trump campaign was investigated without justification Republicans plow ahead with Russia origins probe MORE, who pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations about Russia. 

- This story was updated at 4:14 p.m.