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Trump taps veteran lawyer as Australia ambassador after two-year gap

AFP  |  Washington 

A seasoned who vetted Sarah Palin's vice presidential nomination was nominated Monday to be the US to by Donald Trump, who is still filling key positions two years into his presidency.

A.B. Culvahouse, 70, who served as counsel to and led the firm O'Melveny & Myers, will be the first US to the close US ally in more than two years if approved by the

The timing of the announcement was peculiar, coming late at night on the eve of Trump, who was elected two years ago with vows to shake up how does business, has left vacant the spots to much-in-the-countries including Mexico, and

Trump previously picked Harry Harris, a retired who headed the US Pacific Command, as ambassador to but, on the urging of after he took office in May, Harris was switched to South Korea, seen as much more pressing.

Culvahouse, a native, came to to work for his state's Howard Baker, a legendary deal-maker and moderate Republican. He took charge of legal advice to Reagan as the became embroiled in the Iran-Contra scandal over secret arms sales with

came under greater public scrutiny in 2008 when he helped pick Palin as his vice

accurately predicted that Palin would energize the Republican base, but Palin faced accusations that she was ill-prepared to potentially assume the presidency.

The again led the running for Trump. In a 2011 profile in magazine, described himself as a lifelong Republican who was not drawn to seeking office himself and who enjoys spending weekends hunting and fishing.

is one of the most stalwart US allies, although Trump's relationship with started off shakily. His introductory phone call to then reportedly ended abruptly as Trump criticized him over a refugee resettlement deal.

The last US ambassador to Australia was John Berry, a longtime Washington Named by Barack Obama, Berry made headlines as one of the most prominent diplomats to be openly gay.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, November 06 2018. 15:25 IST