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Trump promises secretary of state Tuesday as Tillerson tops list
[WASHINGTON] President-elect Donald Trump said he'll announce his nominee for secretary of state Tuesday morning, following an extended search that left Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive officer Rex Tillerson as a leading contender.
Mr Trump previewed his announcement Monday night on Twitter but gave no hint of who he intended to choose. He lauded Mr Tillerson in an interview broadcast Sunday, and a person close to the presidential transition said Mr Trump was likely to offer him the job.
Mr Tillerson, who hits Exxon's mandatory retirement age of 65 in March, would be the first oil executive and only the second Texan to lead the State Department. If Mr Trump picks him, the move would hand the job of the nation's top diplomat to a man whose ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin go back almost two decades at a time when possible Russian interference in the US election is under scrutiny.
The prospect of a Tillerson nomination has already drawn some objections lawmakers in both parties, who expressed concern about his extensive dealings with Putin.
Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican nominee for president and a critic of Mr Trump during this year's campaign, was on the short list of candidates, according to two people familiar with the matter. Kellyanne Conway, a top Trump adviser, said Friday on Fox News that those who Mr Trump considered also included Alan Mulally, the former CEO of Ford Motor Co, former CIA Director David Petraeus, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, former US Ambassador to the United Nations John Bolton, and Representative Dana Rohrabacher, a California Republican.