At Conservative Read by Chris --
Almost as soon as President-elect Donald Trump nominated Exxon Mobil chief Rex Tillerson as secretary of state, two well-respected veterans of the Republican foreign policy establishment, Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates, stepped forward with praise for the selection.
Exxon has contracted with
RiceHadleyGates LLC since at least 2011 on issues including Middle East policy, according to Iraq Oil Report, a respected industry publication.
The well-timed endorsements from Gates and Rice gave Trump’s transition team a head start in assuaging Republican concern over Tillerson’s nomination on Capitol Hill, where the Senate must sign off on him amid unease over his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
There were early signs that the praise was working: Senator Jeff Flake, a Republican from Arizona who was a fierce opponent of Trump during the presidential campaign, said in a statement that the recommendation from Rice and Gates “carries considerable weight.”