Chinese Ambassadorship Speculation as Branstad Meets with President-Elect Trump

Dec 5, 2016

Governor Branstad will meet later this week in New York City with president-elect Donald Trump amid speculation the governor will be asked to become U.S. Ambassador to China. 

Branstad is rumored to be among Trump’s top choices for the job.   This past weekend, a Bloomberg Politics report said Branstad is the frontrunner for the post.

I love my job as governor and that's my focus

Branstad leaves for a previously-scheduled economic development trip to New York City Tuesday and is scheduled to meet at some point with Trump before he leaves New York.    

At his weekly news conference, Branstad would not say if he will accept the job.

“It hasn't been offered,” he says. “I love my job as Governor and that's my focus and it's my intent to continue to focus on this.”    

However, the governor has been discussing the potential appointment with his family.

“My wife and I have had several conversations,” Branstad says. “We've had family conversations with our children as well and we're going to continue that.”

Trump touted Branstad’s qualifications for the ambassadorship at a campaign stop in Sioux City before the election.

“I think there’s nobody that knows more about trade than him,” Trump said.    

Branstad says he has not discussed the potential appointment with Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who would assume the governorship if Branstad leaves office.  

My wife and I have had several conversations

“She’s very well-prepared and has great leadership ability,” Branstad says.

Trump is scheduled to hold a rally in Iowa Thursday night.   

Branstad says he has a reservation on a commercial flight to return to Iowa Thursday. He plans to attend the rally.

Branstad's oldest son, Eric, served as state director for Trump's campaign. Eric Branstad will also be meeting with Trump in New York.