President-elect Donald Trump‘s unconventional pick for Secretary of State elicited polarizing reactions from both sides of the aisle. The biggest point of contention is the friendly relationship between the nominee, Rex Tillerson, who is the CEO of Exxon Mobile, and Russian President Vladimir Putin. Sens. Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham and John McCain have already broken party lines to express concern. However, many conservatives have praised the selection.
“[Rex Tillerson] definitely is a maverick choice,” Michelle Malkin told Breitbart News Daily Tuesday. “And I think having a Secretary of State who has the kind of business experience he does is refreshing.”
She added, “Anyone who is not Romney is a massive improvement.”
Ivan Eland, a senior fellow at the Independent Institute, agreed.
“I think he’s probably better than Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney,” Eland told David Webb Tuesday. “I think he’s actually a credible pick.”
He explained, “this post usually goes to an experienced diplomat, although [President] Obama appointed Hillary [Clinton] who wasn’t one. So, occasionally it doesn’t.”
“He’s got international business experience, and I think Donald Trump likes the fact that he’s done some tough negotiating with Venezuela and other countries over oil. And he has a lot of countries, he’s been a to a lot of countries, and he’s negotiated oil deals with them.”
Eland cited the changing sources of oil as the necessary reason for Tillerson’s close ties to Putin.
“He would naturally have a relationship with Russia because of that because he’s the head of this oil company, and they don’t have many other sources of oil these days.”
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