No US ambassador in S’pore for 13 months, Donald Trump nominates same person again

Please give us a US Ambassador soon.

Martino Tan | January 9, 2018 @ 05:07 pm

Kathleen Troia (KT) McFarland, 67, a former deputy national security adviser to U.S. President Donald Trump, has been renominated to become the ambassador to Singapore.

According to The Hill, a political journalism site from Washington D.C, McFarland’s name is among a list of 80 nominees for various administration posts sent by the White House to the Senate for approval.

The names were re-submitted after their nominations expired last year.

The Hill, however, notes that “the decision (to renominate McFarland) is surprising”.

Why is the decision to renominate McFarland surprising?

This is because it would subject McFarland to questions about her knowledge of former national security adviser Michael Flynn’s conversations with Russia’s former U.S. ambassador.

Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI last December.

Who is McFarland by the way?

She is a prominent national security analyst and television commentator for Fox News and has served as the Deputy National Security Advisor in the National Security Council (NSC) for the Trump Administration.

According to the U.S. State Department, she served as a staff member of the Senate Armed Services Committee (1991), on the staff of the NSC (1970-1976), and as a Senior Speechwriter and Assistant to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary of Defense, Department of Defense, Arlington, Virginia (1982-1985).

McFarland holds a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a B.A./M.A. from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from George Washington University.

Was McFarland nominated to become ambassador before?

Yes, she was first nominated to the post in May last year.

Will she be confirmed as the ambassador this time?

Screenshot from CNN.

It’s a bit iffy. CNN reported that sources said the Senate is unlikely to advance her nomination.


This was because McFarland had testified to the Senate in July 2017 that she was “not aware of any of the issues or events” surrounding Flynn’s contacts with the Russian ambassador.

However, an e-mail exchange obtained by The New York Times indicated that McFarland had knowledge of a Dec. 29 phone call between Flynn and the ambassador.

Should Singapore or Singaporeans be worried that the confirmation of a US ambassador to Singapore is taking such a long time?

Not really.

Barack Obama’s first ambassador to Singapore, David Adelman, was only appointed after 14 months.

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Top photo from Getty Images

About Martino Tan

Martino’s parents named him after an Italian priest, Vatican's 1st ambassador to S’pore. He's inspired by the lives of Robert Kennedy & Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the words of George Orwell & William F. Buckley Jr., & the music of the Beatles.

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