Trump picks Rex Tillerson as secretary of state
Washington: US President-elect Donald Trump has settled on Rex Tillerson, the Exxon Mobil CEO, to be his secretary of state, transition officials said on Tuesday.
Trump planned to announce the selection on Tuesday morning, finally bringing to an end his public and chaotic deliberations over choosing the nation’s top diplomat, New York Times reported.
His choices veered from Rudolph Giuliani, one of his most loyal supporters, to musing about whether Mitt Romney, one of his most vicious critics, might be forgiven.
It also included an endlessly changing list that at times included Senator Bob Corker, Republican of Tennessee; David Petraeus, the former Army general and C.I.A. director; and Jon M. Huntsman Jr., the former Utah governor and presidential candidate in 2012.
Romney, Petraeus and Corker – the three leading runners-up for the diplomatic post – all received calls late Monday informing them of Trump’s decision, according to people familiar with the final choice.
Trump teased his imminent announcement of Tillerson on Monday night on Twitter, saying that “I will be making my announcement on the next Secretary of State tomorrow morning.”
He settled on Tillerson, a deal maker who spent the past four decades at Exxon, much of it in search of oil and gas agreements in troubled parts of the world.
Tillerson, 64, is from Wichita Falls, Texas, who speaks with a strong Texan twang, and runs a company with operations in about 50 countries, cutting deals to expand business in Venezuela, Qatar, Kurdistan and elsewhere.
If confirmed as Secretary of State, Tillerson would face a new challenge: nurturing alliances around the world that are built less on deals and more on diplomacy.