Jon Huntsman Jr., current U.S. Ambassador to Russia, revealed in an interview with a Utah newspaper that he is currently battling cancer.

The statesman noticed various spots, one behind his ear, another on his leg, and decided to have his doctor check it out. The results came as he was flying back to Russia.

“It kind of puts things in perspective,” he told the Deseret News.

The former governor of Utah has recently endured some tremendous losses, having his father pass in February due to cancer, and his friend, the late Senator John McCain, who died of brain cancer in August.

Still, Huntsman remains optimistic. “It’s just stage 1,” Huntsman said. “So we’ll probably get it taken care of, and we’ll be fine.”

His daughter Abby, a former Fox News host now on “The View,” said the diagnosis was “a wake-up call.”

Huntsman has been an important cog amidst tense relations between Russia and the U.S., and remained on-board despite backlash against President Trump following a press conference in which the President made controversial remarks about Russian President Vladimir Putin and interference in the 2016 election.

Hunstman was a former Trump critic

Huntsman has been a critic of the President, having served in the Obama administration and having governed as a moderate Republican. Actually, he’s been a bit of a flip-flopper when it comes to Trump.

In April of 2016, Huntsman insisted that the GOP “had enough intraparty fighting” and endorsed Trump as “the best remaining option” for his party’s nominee.

With a month left before the election, he bought into media coverage regarding the now infamous “Access Hollywood” tape of Trump making sexually suggestive comments, and demanded the Republican candidate step aside and let Mike Pence take his place.

“In a campaign cycle that has been nothing but a race to the bottom … the time has come for Governor Pence to lead the ticket,” Huntsman said.

President Trump nominated him months later as Ambassador to the Russian Federation, noting he has developed “a distinguished career as a politician, diplomat, and businessman.”

Huntsman was suspected of being the author behind the anonymous New York Times op-ed that spoke of a deep state resistance to the President within his own administration.

Will this affect U.S.-Russia relations?

Huntsman was clearly concerned with how Russia would respond to any cancer diagnosis, asking the newspaper to keep it under wraps for fears Moscow could exploit it.

“They didn’t want anyone in Moscow to know he had cancer, worried about what they might do with the information. Already, he was subjected to a steady stream of propaganda about his activities in Russia created by state media. He had no idea what they’d do with a cancer diagnosis, but didn’t want to find out.”

Huntsman’s work is critical. He refers to the U.S.-Russia relationship as “the most dangerous relationship in the world.”

It is “one that encompasses nuclear weapons, fighting terrorism, stopping bloodshed in Ukraine, and seeking a settlement of the seemingly intractable Syrian crisis,” he explained.

We wish him well in his battle and hope he can continue to serve America’s best interests in dealing with Russia.

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