Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) announced Monday that he will support the nomination of Rex Tillerson for secretary of state, just ahead of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee's scheduled vote on the former ExxonMobil executive. Rubio had waffled on supporting President Donald Trump's pick to lead the State Department because of his concerns about Tillerson's ties to Russia as well as his remarks on human rights during his confirmation hearing earlier this month; during questioning, Rubio grilled Tillerson about whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was a "war criminal," a statement Tillerson declined to support.
"In making my decision on his nomination, I must balance these concerns with his extensive experience and success in international commerce, and my belief that the president is entitled to significant deference when it comes to his choices for the Cabinet," Rubio wrote Monday in a Facebook post. Ultimately, Rubio said he decided "it would be against our national interests to have this confirmation unnecessarily delayed or embroiled in controversy."
If Rubio had voted against Tillerson's nomination in committee, it would have sent Tillerson to the Senate floor without a positive recommendation — a development Time said would have been an "embarrassing rebuke to Trump just as his presidency gets underway."
Read Rubio's post in full below. Becca Stanek