“He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States.”
President-elect Donald Trump has chosen Rex Tillerson as his nominee for secretary of State, despite deep skepticism in the Senate over the Exxon Mobil CEO’s ties to Russia. In a statement released by his transition team early Tuesday, Trump called Tillerson’s career “the embodiment of the American dream.”
“Through hard work, dedication and smart deal making, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest and most respected companies,” the president-elect said, adding that Tillerson’s “tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics” make him an excellent choice.
“He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States. Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none,” Trump added.
The Hill reports,
Tillerson, who met with the president-elect Saturday at Trump Tower, jumped to the front of the pack of candidates under consideration for the post in recent days.
In an interview that aired Sunday, the president-elect called Tillerson a “world-class player” and said he had “tremendous respect for him.”
Trump praised Tillerson for the work he’s done at Exxon, saying the company has been “unbelievably managed.”
“And to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia,” Trump said during an interview on “Fox News Sunday.” “He does massive deals for the company — not for himself — for the company.”
Tillerson said in a statement early Tuesday that he shares Trump’s vision for “restoring the credibility of the United States’ foreign relations and advancing our country’s national security.”
“We must focus on strengthening our alliances, pursuing shared national interests and enhancing the strength, security and sovereignty of the United States,” Tillerson said.
Tillerson’s close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, however, have prompted some critics to raise concerns about his nomination.
Read more at The Hill