- The Washington Times - Wednesday, December 14, 2016

President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday that he picked ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the same reason others oppose him — because he knows how to be friendly with some of the world’s unfriendly leaders.

“Rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don’t get along with, and some people don’t like that. They don’t want to be friendly,” Mr. Trump said at a thank-you rally in West Allis, Wisconsin. “That’s why I’m doing the deal with Rex. That’s what this is all about.”

A major objection to Mr. Tillerson’s nomination has been his close business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Mr. Trump said that Mr. Tillerson would be a “fierce advocate for America’s interests around the world and has the insights and talents necessary to reverse years of foreign policy blunders and disasters.”

Mr. Tillerson also would help break “a cycle of failed interventions that that weakened our security and undermined totally our stability,” the president-elect said.

Mr. Trump said it was time for a new direction in foreign policy.

“America’s foreign policy has lacked a clear vision, a clear goal and a clear understanding of the threats — and the threats are immense,” he said. “Instead of jumping recklessly from one intervention to the next, my administration will build a long-term strategy for stability, prosperity, peace and rebuilding our own country.”

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