Speed Reads

Politics

John McCain: I have 'concerns' over nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state

While on a tour of the Baltic states, Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) said that during his confirmation hearing, Donald Trump's pick for secretary of state, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, will have to go into detail about his association with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin; was a director of Exxon's Russian subsidiary, Exxon Neftegas, from 1998 until 2006; and opposed sanctions on Russia after its annexation of Crimea in 2014. Speaking with reporters Thursday, McCain said he and several of his colleagues "have concerns about Mr. Tillerson and some of his past activities, specifically his relationship with Vladimir Putin." Despite their reservations, McCain said he is "certain" they will give Tillerson "an opportunity to make his case about why he is qualified to be secretary of state."

McCain was not as cordial when discussing Putin, whom he called a "thug and a murderer."