Trump Edges Toward Tillerson for Secretary of State
NEW YORK (AP) — President-elect Donald Trump is 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.
Trump and Tillerson met privately in New York on Saturday, their second meeting in a week. The president-elect's transition team said an announcement was not expected over the weekend.
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.
In an interview airing Sunday, Trump praises Tillerson as "much more than a businessman."
Tillerson is described as a supporter of free trade, international law and an expansive U.S. presence in the Middle East.