Russia Investigation, Trump Tweets Don’t Faze Governor As He Embraces New Role

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DES MOINES, Iowa  --  A special counsel and members of Congress investigate any potential inappropriate contact between Russian officials and members of Donald Trump's campaign. The President also has a way of igniting controversy with a few taps of his fingers on his smart phone. Neither seems to bring worry from Trump's incoming Ambassador to China Terry Branstad.

About that Russia investigation, Branstad said Tuesday, "I'm not going to comment on that. My responsibility is to represent America in China and to work with the administration."

About Trump's previous criticism of China, "When I was there in November, before I ever knew I was going to be asked to be Ambassador to China, I just reminded the people both in China and Japan that Donald Trump's a businessman."

And that businessman has a different style, a far different style, than Branstad, the life-long politician.

Tuesday, Branstad and his successor, current Lt. Governor Kim Reynolds, shared mutual admiration during a news conference that will likely be their final public appearance together before their roles change.

Reynolds said of Branstad, "I just want to say thank you, governor, for your service to this great state. It's difficult to ever try to begin to convey how much I appreciate the opportunity to work with you."

Branstad said of Reynolds, "I have no doubt that she will lead the state to bigger and better things in the future. And I know nobody that's ever been as well-prepared to take over responsibilities as chief executive of this state as Kim Reynolds.

Branstad plans to resign as governor on Wednesday at 10 a.m. in a ceremony in his formal office at the Statehouse and also get sworn in as Ambassador to China. Reynolds is scheduled to take over as governor in a ceremony a half hour later in the Statehouse rotunda.

She plans to make an official announcement about her plans for her lt. governor Thursday at the Capitol at 10 a.m.

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