Russia friend and sanctions foe, Tillerson gets his hearing

Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)

WASHINGTON (AP) – Friend of Russia and foe of sanctions in his corporate life, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is an unorthodox choice. He may feel at home in Trump’s iconoclastic administration.

Tillerson is a break in a longstanding tradition of secretaries of state with extensive military, legislative, political or diplomatic experience. Yet his supporters say the oil man’s career at a mammoth multinational is proof he has the skills to succeed as America’s top diplomat.

Democrats and traditional GOP hawks are expected to zero in on Tillerson’s role in orchestrating business deals with Russia and Exxon and its subsidiaries’ activities in Iran and Iraq. And his environmental views are also likely to be covered, as are suspicions Tillerson will be driven by corporate interests.

 

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