Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon Mobil and a major player in global business, is set to become President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state, according to multiple sources.
NBC News reported that while nothing is official until it’s announced by Trump himself, the 64-year-old oil executive will be put forth as America’s chief diplomat.
John Bolton, former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under the Bush administration, will be nominated as the deputy secretary of state and be in charge of day-to-day operations, the report also said.
Tillerson has been with the company since 1975, when he joined as a production engineer. He became CEO of Exxon Mobil in 2006. Much like Trump, he has no formal government experience. He had been mentioned as a serious candidate for the position, along with individuals like Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani, but had never been considered the favorite.
In an appearance on “Fox News Sunday,” Trump praised Tillerson, although he would only say that he was “getting very, very close” to making an announcement on the secretary of state position.
“Well, in his case, he’s much more than a business executive, I mean he’s a world-class player,” Trump said.
“He’s in charge of an oil company that’s pretty much double the size of his next nearest competitor,” Trump said. “It’s been a company that’s been unbelievably managed. And to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows them well., He does massive deals in Russia, he does massive deals-for the company, not for himself for the company.”
Trump also tweeted about Tillerson on Sunday:
Whether I choose him or not for “State”- Rex Tillerson, the Chairman & CEO of ExxonMobil, is a world class player and dealmaker. Stay tuned!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 11, 2016
While Tillerson’s probable nomination comes as a surprise to a lot of people, it would fit in with an increased focus on U.S.-Russia relations.
“He has had more interactive time with Vladimir Putin than probably any other American with the exception of Henry Kissinger,” John Mamre, deputy secretary of state under Bill Clinton, told The Wall Street Journal.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said that no announcement on the position will be issued before “next week at the earliest.”
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H/T The Daily Caller