Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Corker to play key role in Secretary of State approval

Michael Collins, USA TODAY, Washington -Sen. Bob Corker ... will have a critical role in the confirmation process for the man who got the nod. ... Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, announced his panel will hold a confirmation hearing for Tillerson in early January. ..... Corker be responsible for grilling the man who beat him out for the job, .....  In 2013, Russian President Vladimir Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors the nation bestows on foreign citizens. Some Republican senators, including John McCain of Arizona, Marco Rubio of Florida and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, are raising concerns over Tillerson’s relationship with Russia. “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryofState,” Rubio, who sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, wrote on Twitter. ... Corker’s office said Monday his committee also will hold hearings in January on Russia’s possible involvement in the presidential race. ....  Corker praised Tillerson in a statement but did not directly say whether he would support his nomination. “Mr. Tillerson is a very impressive individual and has an extraordinary working knowledge of the world,” he said. “I congratulate him on his nomination and look forward to meeting with him and chairing his confirmation hearing.” Corker, who had been on Trump’s short list for secretary of state, said the president-elect called him Monday night and told him he was nominating Tillerson. (read more)

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