Trump's pick for Singapore ambassador withdraws nomination

U.S. President Donald Trump
U.S. President Donald Trump. (File Photo: IANS) IANS

US President Donald Trump's pick to be US Ambassador to Singapore, K.T. McFarland, has withdrawn her ambassadorial nomination after it had stalled in the Senate, a White House official said.

McFarland's nomination had become embroiled in controversy over the Trump campaign's contacts with Russian officials, the New York Times reported.

Some senators doubted her answers when she was asked about her knowledge of the discussions between fired National Security Adviser Michael Flynn and then Russian Ambassador to the US Sergey Kislyak.

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

The Senate eventually sent her nomination back to the White House at the end of 2017 and the White House decided to re-nominate the former deputy National Security Adviser in January despite warnings from Democrats that they were unlikely to support her.

McFarland, who formerly served as a commentator on Fox News, has long been controversial, the Times reported.

When she ran in 2006 for the US Senate seat then held by Hillary Clinton, McFarland was found to have made multiple exaggerations about her résumé.

Her opponent in the Republican primary race, John Spencer, routinely pointed out that McFarland had once claimed that helicopters were spying on her at Clinton's request.