- The Washington Times - Tuesday, December 13, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump on Tuesday officially announced that he plans to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the next secretary of state.

Mr. Trump said in a statement that Mr. Tillerson’s “tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics” make him an “excellent choice” to serve as the United States’ top diplomat.

“He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States,” Mr. Trump said. “Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none.”

Mr. Tillerson said he is “honored” by Mr. Trump’s nomination.

“We must focus on strengthening our alliances, pursuing shared national interests and enhancing the strength, security and sovereignty of the United States,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Some environmentalists are uneasy about putting an oil industry executive in such a prominent position, while some lawmakers have pointed to Mr. Tillerson’s close business ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin as cause for concern.

Other people who had been named as possible contenders include former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee and former CIA Director David Petraeus.

“He obviously has worldwide experience. I think his knowledge of Russia will be enormously valuable to the president-elect,” former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, whose name had also been mentioned as a possible contender, said of Mr. Tillerson on Fox News’ “Hannity” program Monday evening.

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