NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — President-elect Donald Trump will name Exxon chief executive officer Rex Tillerson as secretary of state Tuesday morning, sources tell CBS News.
Trump will formally announce his pick for secretary of state on Tuesday. He announced the news on Twitter Monday night.
Trump’s decision-making on whom to select for secretary of state had stretched out over several weeks. He had been considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a one-time vocal Trump critic, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who leads the Foreign Relations Committee, and Tillerson, the oil industry executive who met twice with Trump during the past week.
In the television interview, Trump pointed to Tillerson’s deep relations with Moscow as a selling point.
As ExxonMobil’s head, he maintained close ties with Russia and was awarded by Putin with the Order of Friendship in 2013, an honor for a foreign citizen.
Trump praised Tillerson on Sunday, but some Republicans have expressed doubts due to the Russia connections.
“It’s a matter of concern to me that he has such a close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin,” McCain said of Tillerson. “And obviously they’ve done enormous deals together.” In an interview with CBS’ “Face the Nation,” McCain said, “That would color his approach to Vladimir Putin and the Russian threat.”
Former Gen. and CIA Director David Petraeus had also been named as a contender for the office.
Former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani had also been discussed as a possible pick for secretary of state, but last week, Trump announced that Giuliani had removed his name from consideration for a cabinet position.
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