The White House renominated K.T. McFarland for the position of U.S. ambassador to Singapore on Monday, despite her coming under scrutiny by congressional investigators as part of their probe into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia.
The Office of the Press Secretary announced the move along with 75 other administrative nominations for confirmation by the Senate.
McFarland, formerly a deputy national security adviser and close ally of former national security adviser Michael Flynn, was initially nominated in May, but has seen her nomination stalled in Congress over lingering concerns about her knowledge of contacts between Trump campaign officials and Russian operatives.
Two Democratic Senators, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Cory Booker of New Jersey, called for McFarland’s nomination to be placed on hold in December until Congress could re-examine the extent of her “knowledge and involvement” about the communications.
McFarland testified in July that she was “not aware of any of the issues or events” surrounding Flynn’s contact with Sergey Kislyak, a Russian diplomat who was ambassador to the United States until August 2017. But emails obtained by The New York Times in December revealed that McFarland had knowledge of a crucial email exchange between Flynn and Kislyak.
“Ms. McFarland may have provided information to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that conflicts with recent media reports regarding her knowledge and involvement in matters pertaining to contacts during the Trump Presidential Transition” between Flynn and Kislyak, among other matters, Booker and Cardin wrote in December, urging McFarland to answer additional questions on the matter.
McFarland, a close associate of Flynn, was a controversial figure in her early tenure with the Trump administration because of the large gap between her past stints in public service. She left the National Security Council last April, at which time she was expected to accept her nomination for the ambassadorship.