Singapore ambassador-designate McFarland withdraws nomination amid opposition from Senate

Kathleen Troia McFarland
KT McFarland speaking at CPAC 2016 in Washington, DC. Gage Skidmore via Wikimedia Commons

US President Donald Trump's nominee for US Ambassador to Singapore, Kathleen Troia McFarland, 65, has withdrawn after facing a stumblig block in the US Senate, caught in the melee over the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials.

McFarland, who formerly served as a commentator on Fox News, faced questions over her knowledge of the discussions between fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and then Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

The Senate eventually sent her nomination back to the White House in December 2017 but the White House insisted on re-nominating the former deputy National Security Adviser in January despite warnings from Democrats that they were unlikely to support her.

However, when McFarland decided to withdraw her nomination, Trump said: "Unfortunately, some Democrats chose to play politics rather than move forward with a qualified nominee for a critically important post."

McFarland is not new to controversies. In 2006 she ran for the US Senate seat then held by Hillary Clinton, and had reportedly claimed that helicopters were spying on her at Clinton's request.

McFarland was found to have made several exaggerations in her résumé, said her opponent in the Republican primary race, John Spencer.

Prior to her nomination, Ms. McFarland served as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor.

She had also served in the Nixon, Ford, and Reagan administrations on the National Security Council, and in the Department of Defense.