Trump meets with possible Secretary of State pick Rex Tillerson

Posted at 2:08 PM, Dec 10, 2016
and last updated 2016-12-10 14:19:18-05

NEW YORK — Donald Trump has met with Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the incoming president considers his options for secretary of state.

Tillerson is under serious consideration to lead the State Department and also met with Trump earlier this week. Trump is also considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker and former United Nations ambassador John Bolton.

Trump’s transition team said Friday that former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani had withdrawn from consideration for the post.

Tillerson’s meeting Saturday was described by a person familiar with the private gathering who was not authorized to discuss it.

Some news outlets like NBC reported Saturday afternoon that Tillerson is expected to be picked for the position.

He became the chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil in 2006. During his time there, the company has acknowledged the science surrounding climate change and said it supports a carbon tax. The company has also expressed support for the Paris climate agreement, according to a New York Times report.

Tillerson has extensive relationships with foreign leaders, most notably with Russia, as reported by the Times. He has worked to strengthen Exxon Mobil’s relationship with Russia through various joint ventures with oil giant Rosneft.

In 2012, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship decoration by the Russian government.

Western sanctions against Russia have prohibited certain energy development activities there, which in turn has slowed Exxon Mobil’s investments. Tillerson has spoken out against these sanctions.

Exxon Mobil also has close connections with the Qatari national oil company, and has partnered with them to build a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Gulf of Mexico coast, as reported by the Times.