Tillerson was worked for Exxon for more than four decades, according to the Times, and has no government or diplomatic experience. In a video preview of a pre-taped Fox News interview set to air Sunday, Chris Wallace asked Trump why it makes sense to pick a business executive like Tillerson as America's top diplomatic.
"Well in his case, he's much more than a business executive. I mean he's a world class player," Trump said, going on to praise the size of Exxon Mobile.
"To me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the company," Trump said.
Tillerson's connections to Russia stretch back to the Boris Yeltsin administration, during which he represented the company's interests there, according to NBC News. He received in 2013 the country's Order of Friendship honor from Putin, who he has known for more than two decades, the New York Times reported.