(BLOOMBERG) — Senators signaled that President-elect Donald Trump’s leading choice for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil Corp. chief Rex Tillerson, could have trouble winning confirmation because of his ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState,” Florida Republican Marco Rubio, who serves on the Foreign Relations Committee that would consider Tillerson’s nomination, said Sunday in a Twitter post signed with his initials.
Criticism from Republicans such as Rubio and Senator John McCain as well as key Democrats suggest that nominating the Exxon chairman and chief executive officer could become a messy distraction for the new president. It also would become a proxy fight over Trump’s position that Putin is an effective leader with whom he can reach agreements, a stance widely unpopular among lawmakers in both parties.
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