Trump edges toward selecting Exxon Mobil CEO as Secretary of State
NEW YORK (AP) _ President-elect Donald Trump may be moving closer to nominating Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, a decision that would bring a business leader with close ties to Russia into the Cabinet.
Trump has privately signaled that he plans to tap Tillerson for the powerful Cabinet post, but had not formally offered him the job as of Saturday evening, according to people who have spoken with Trump and his transition team. Some advisers worry that Tillerson’s Russia connections would lead to a contentious Senate confirmation hearing and keep alive questions about Trump’s own relationship with Moscow.
Tillerson rose to prominence through Exxon’s Russian energy business and was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship. He has argued against sanctions the U.S. and European allies imposed on Russia after it annexed Crimea from Ukraine in 2014.
Tillerson is described as a supporter of free trade, international law and an expansive U.S. presence in the Middle East, positions that largely don’t fit with what Trump has pitched to supporters.