Image Credit: Mikhail Klimentyev/RIA Novosti
President-Elect Donald Trump has named former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for Secretary of State, according to a report from the Associated Press. The campaign has not confirmed, other than to say that the announcement would be made on Tuesday.
BREAKING: AP Sources: President-elect Trump selects Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to lead State Department.
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 13, 2016
Tillerson faces a long uphill battle in the Senate in order to be confirmed, as senate Republicans have balked at due to his perceived close ties with Russian president Vladamir Putin.
In 2011, while CEO of ExxonMobil, he made a deal with the Russian government that allowed ExxonMobil to explore oil fields in Russia’s Arctic. In exchange, state-controlled oil company OAO Rosneft was allowed to acquire ownership stakes in Exxon projects in the United States. He later received the Order of Friendship award from Putin, which is one of Russia’s highest honors.
This announcement ends a long, public battle for the position, with numerous candidates having been floated in the media, including New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and former presidential nominee Mitt Romney among those rumored to be under consideration.
The move fills yet another spot in Trump’s cabinet, which can be viewed here.