- The Washington Times - Monday, January 23, 2017

Sen. Marco Rubio said Monday that he will support former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s to be Secretary of State, likely paving the way toward confirmation of President Trump’s nominee after two other key Republican senators threw their weight behind him over the weekend.

Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham, who, like Mr. Rubio, had initial reservations about whether Mr. Tillerson would be aggressive enough toward Russia, said Sunday that they’re satisfied he’ll be “effective” in pushing for U.S. interests when it comes to relations with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

In his own statement Monday, Mr. Rubio indicated that his decision about Mr. Tillerson was not made easily. The Florida Republican and member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations said that while he has “no doubts about Mr. Tillerson’s qualifications and patriotism,” he was concerned about the extent to which the nominee would “make the defense of liberty, democracy and human rights a priority” if confirmed as secretary of state.

“I was encouraged by a number of his answers through this process,” Mr. Rubio said in a statement Monday.

“I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate,” he said.

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