World

ExxonMobil CEO set to be US secretary of state

WASHINGTON US President-elect Donald Trump has tapped ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state, US media reported late on Monday.

It sets up what will likely be contentious confirmation hearings over the oilman's ties to Russia.

"I will be making my announcement on the next Secretary of State tomorrow morning," Mr Trump said on Monday evening using his favoured medium, Twitter.

News outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post and NBC News, cited sources as saying the real estate mogul had settled on Mr Tillerson after a drawn-out and public search for the nation's top diplomat.

CONTENDERS

There had been eight or nine contenders for the job, including former CIA director David Petraeus, former UN ambassador John Bolton and Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker.

Also on that list was erstwhile Trump critic and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney, who indicated on Facebook he was out of the running shortly after Mr Trump said he would soon make his choice official.

If he is indeed nominated, Mr Tillerson - who has no formal foreign policy background - is sure to face sharp questions in Senate confirmation hearings.

The 64-year-old Texan has opposed sanctions on Russia and in 2013 was awarded Russia's Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin following several years of Exxon projects in the country.- AFP

donald trumppoliticsunited states