ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has actually ties come Russian president Vladimir Putin — something his critics have pounced on that for.



Donald trump card officially announced his plan Tuesday come nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary the state, a choose that can pose symptom in the confirmation procedure due come Tillerson"s ties come Russia.

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Tillerson, 64, has actually no government or diplomatic experience but has done substantial work overseas on instead of of his petroleum company.

His business, particularly with Russian president Vladimir Putin and in the center East, has attracted criticism from Democrats and Republicans alike.

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"His close link to Vladimir Putin and also the Russian federal government raises serious inquiries at a time when our national intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia involved in cyber espionage against the united States throughout the 2016 Presidential election," Hillary Clinton"s running mate, Sen. Tim Kaine, stated in a statement after ~ the announcement. "Further, the documented efforts through ExxonMobil to fund organizations denying climate science during Tillerson"s tenure in ~ the firm deserve an important attention."

Tillerson operated so carefully with Putin the after a 2011 oil deal, he was awarded the Russian order of Friendship — a acknowledgment from the Russian government that has gone come a variety of global figures, including sports stars.

The president-elect"s notice downplayed Tillerson"s absence of federal government work and also called him "a forceful and also clear-eyed advocate for America’s vital national interests."

“Rex Tillerson’s job is the embodiment the the American dream. Through difficult work, dedication and smart transaction making, Rex increased through the ranking to come to be CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest and also most respected companies," Trump claimed in a statement issued Tuesday morning. "His tenacity, broad experience and deep expertise of geopolitics make him great choice because that Secretary that State. He will promote regional stability and focus ~ above the core national security understanding of the united States."

He added: "I can think the no one much more prepared, and also no one more dedicated, to serve as Secretary the State in ~ this critical time in our history."

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson AP

The choose was extensively anticipated. Trump announced ~ above Monday via his preferred communication medium — Twitter — that he would ultimately share his nomination because that the top U.S. Diplomat slot Tuesday morning.

After the announcement, trump card tweeted, "The point I like best about Rex Tillerson is the he has substantial experience at dealing effectively with all species of international governments."

Tillerson, a Texas native, began working at ExxonMobil in 1975 together a manufacturing engineer. In an interview Sunday with Fox News, Trump said a businessman such as Tillerson would be a fine fit for secretary the state.

"Well, in his case, he"s much more than a organization executive, I median he"s a world-class player," trump said, acknowledging Tillerson"s business dealings v Russia.

I have chosen among the truly an excellent business leaders of the world, Rex Tillerson, Chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, to be Secretary the State.

— Donald J. Trump (

"To me, a an excellent advantage is the knows many of the players, and also he to know them well," trump added. "He does huge deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the firm — no for himself, because that the company."

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Former Secretary that Defense Robert gateways endorsed Tillerson after ~ the announcement.

"He would lug to the position huge knowledge, experience and also success in taking care of dozens of governments and also leaders in every corner of the world. The is a human of an excellent integrity whose just goal in office would certainly be to defend and advancement the understanding of the united States," gateways said.

Former Secretary the State Condoleezza Rice also praised the pick.

"I understand Rex as a successful service man and also a patriot. That will stand for the interests and also the worths of the United states with resolve and also commitment. And also he will lead the superior men and also women the the State Department v respect and also dedication," she post on her on facebook page.

Both Gates and Rice have actually done job-related for Exxon through their global consulting firm, Rice Hadley Gates, according to Politico.

Others have raised concerns. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., told CBS News the Tillerson"s ties come Russia needed to be extensively examined.

"Certainly it must be a matter of concern," McCain said. "But i am sure, in a bipartisan way, the will obtain a same hearing."

Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., to express "serious concerns" in a declare Tuesday.

"The following secretary that state have to be someone who views the civilization with ethical clarity, is complimentary of potential disputes of interest, has actually a clear feeling of America"s interests, and will it is in a forceful support for America"s international policy goals to the president, in ~ the administration, and on the civilization stage. I look forward to learning an ext about his record and his views," the said.

Being a "friend that Vladimir" is no an attribute ns am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState - MR

— Marco Rubio (

Tillerson beat out various other candidates with much lengthier public company records. Last week, Trump"s change team evidenced that former new York City mayor Rudy Giuliani was out of the to run for a place in the brand-new administration, ending weeks that speculation the he might be selected because that secretary the state.


“I am honored by President-elect Trump"s nomination and also share his vision for restoring the credibility that the unified States’ international relations and advancing ours country’s nationwide security,” Tillerson stated in a statement. “We must emphasis on increase our alliances, pursuing mutual national interests and enhancing the strength, security and sovereignty that the united States.”

According come NBC News political analyst nicole Wallace, Tillerson fits in with the "two frames the Donald Trump, a branding guru in his own view, is make the efforts put roughly his administration."

"He values really, yes, really rich males so much who space willing to provide up an individual fortunes to offer this country. In his mind, that defines a real commitment to the country. And also two, he values change. He ran on change and i think he looked at the whole list the other very qualified candidates and thought they all stood for some type of continuation of common stuff," she said.

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Elizabeth chuck is a reporter for NBC News who concentrates on health and mental health, specifically issues that affect women and children.