Top Trump aide Kellyanne Conway practically rolled her eyes Monday on Good Morning America in response to reports that ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, one of President-elect Donald Trump's finalists for secretary of state, is buddy-buddy with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Tillerson has made a career out of "drilling more fossil fuels out of Russian soil," and in 2012 he even won Russia's Order of Friendship award, The New York Times reported. In fact, top Republicans have already suggested they would not support Tillerson if he were nominated to the Cabinet because of his deep ties to Russia, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeting Sunday that "being a 'friend of Vladimir' is not an attribute" he was "hoping for from a secretary of state."
Conway, however, said Tillerson's ties could prove useful, given the state of U.S.-Russia relations. "If he can go ahead and improve relationships and advance U.S. interests and advance the Trump doctrine then we should all welcome that," Conway said.
Besides, she argued, Tillerson's relationship with Putin is strictly business. "It's not like he's pounding down vodka with Vladimir Putin," Conway said.