ExxonMobile chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson is projected to be named President-elect Donald Trump’s Secretary of State next week, CNN reports.
The report states that the official announcement will be made next week. However, Reince Priebus, Trump’s Chief of Staff, is still pushing for Mitt Romney to stay in the running.
The oil man met with Trump in New York Saturday and has told the President-elect that he would be honored to have the job as Secretary of State. According to multiple sources, Tillerson is said to have left the meeting believing that he will be the pick. One source relayed that the official offer will be extended next week.
Trump’s spokesman Jason Miller tweeted Monday that there would be “no announcements on Secretary of State until next week at the earliest.”
Trump told Fox News’ Chris Wallace in an interview, “He is much more than a business executive. He is a world class player. He is in charge of, I guess, the largest company in the world.”
“And to me, a great advantage is that he knows many of the players. And he knows them well.”
“He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals — for the company, not for himself, for the company,” Trump added.
Tillerson has been a contentious candidate due to his views on climate change and ties to Russia President Vladimir Putin. ExxonMobile signed a deal with Rosneft, a major Russian oil company, to provide entry to profitable oil resources in the Arctic in 2011. Putin also attended the Exxon signing ceremony, later granting Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship award.
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