President-elect Donald Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, the chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil, who is close to the Russian leadership, as secretary of state.
Trump in his statement Tuesday morning emphasized Tillerson’s executive skills.
“Guiding operations around the world that include more than 200 offices, Mr. Tillerson knows how to manage a global organization and successfully navigate the complex architecture of world affairs and diverse foreign leaders,” Trump’s statement said. “As Secretary of State, he will be a forceful and clear-eyed advocate for America’s vital national interests, and help reverse years of misguided foreign policies and actions that have weakened America’s security and standing in the world.”
Tillerson faces a tough nomination fight because of his associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin. He led the expansion of Exxon’s joint drilling with Russia in recent years and has objected to sanctions imposed on Russia because of its invasion of Ukraine. Tillerson in 2012 was honored with the Russian Order of Friendship decoration.