Trump Nominee for Ambassador to Singapore Withdraws

Updated on

K.T. McFarland, left.

Photographer: Pete Marovich/Bloomberg

Washington (AP) -- President Donald Trump said Friday that K.T. McFarland has withdrawn from consideration to be ambassador to Singapore.

Trump expressed his "disappointment" and said McFarland served the administration "with distinction." He said Democrats "chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post."

McFarland is a former deputy national security adviser in the Trump administration and former Fox News analyst. She was first nominated in May, but her nomination was in doubt amid questions about her communications with ex-national security adviser Michael Flynn.

Flynn was fired by Trump in February for misleading senior administration officials about his contacts with Russia's ambassador to the U.S. He pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to FBI agents and is now cooperating with Mueller's investigation.

McFarland's nomination was not taken up by the Republican-led Senate by the end of last year, leading to a re-nomination in January.

According to two former transition officials, McFarland was referenced in court papers as an unnamed Trump transition team member who spoke with Flynn in 2016 about what, if anything, to say about sanctions that had just been imposed on Russia by the Obama administration in response to election meddling.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to publicly discuss the matter.

McFarland did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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Associated Press writers Zeke Miller and Jonathan Lemire contributed to this report.

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