McConnell Is Confident That Rex Tillerson Is Up For Secretary Of State

Jon Gambrell

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) told Kentucky Educational Television that Rex Tillerson is up to the job of Secretary of State despite Tillerson's past history with Russia.

McConnell argued in an interview that Tillerson's past business interests as the CEO of ExxonMobil would not get in the way of Tillerson's ability to do the job.

"I don't have any doubt that Rex Tillerson will be representing the United States of America," McConnell said.

Tillerson is among one of Trump's most controversial picks for the cabinet. Republicans like Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) have voiced skepticism over Tillerson's cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson was awarded "Order of Friendship" in 2013, an award Putin bestowed upon him for his contributions to Russia.

McConnell argued that Tillerson was just doing his job.

"I know Rex pretty well," McConnell said. "He was representing his company — that was his job to be CEO of Exxon Mobil, one of the largest corporations in the world and they search for oil and gas all over the world."

McConnell discounted any concerns that Tillerson was in Russia's pocket.

"My guess is that Vladimir Putin will be vey disappointed with the Rex Tillerson he got as secretary of state," McConnell said.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lauren Fox is a reporter at Talking Points Memo.
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