Donald Trump on Tuesday morning formally announced that he will nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state.
Trump touted Tillerson as “the embodiment of the American dream.”
“Through hard work, dedication and smart deal making, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world’s largest and most respected companies,” Trump said in a statement. “His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States. Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none. I can think of no one more prepared, and no one more dedicated, to serve as Secretary of State at this critical time in our history.”
Tillerson’s nomination could face resistance in the Senate over his ties to Russia. Several Republican senators have signaled that they may oppose his nomination due to his cozy relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Putin gave Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honor a foreign citizen can receive from Russia. That came after Tillerson signed a deal in 2011 to access Russia’s oil resources in the Arctic.