WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is emerging from the shadows of the Trump administration with a leading public role in shaping and explaining the U.S. missile strikes in Syria.

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The former Exxon Mobil CEO is set for an even more high-profile mission, heading to Moscow under the twin clouds of Russia's alleged U.S. election meddling and its possible support for a Syrian chemical weapons attack.

Since taking office in February, Tillerson has shunned the spotlight and the press. Yet, Tillerson was surprisingly visible during the announcement of the response to the gruesome chemical attack, fielding questions from reporters on and off camera.

The criticism of Tillerson from the foreign policy establishment's left and right for a not-so-public diplomatic style is dying down.

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