Trump likely to name Exxon CEO secretary of state

ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston

NEW YORK — U.S. President-elect Donald Trump is expected to name the chief executive of Exxon Mobil Corp as the country’s top diplomat, a source familiar with the situation said on Saturday, an appointment that would put in place an official with close ties to the Russian government.
News of Rex Tillerson’s possible appointment comes as U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Trump win the White House. Exxon’s Tillerson emerged on Friday as Trump’s leading candidate for U.S. secretary of state over 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and three other people.
Tillerson met with Trump for more than two hours at Trump Tower on Saturday morning. It was their second meeting about the position this week. The source, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Tillerson was the expected pick but cautioned no formal offer had yet been made.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said no announcement on the high-profile job was forthcoming in the immediate future.The announcement comes the weekend after North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory met with President-elect Donald Trump Wednesday, drawing speculation from insiders that he is likely on a short list for a high-ranking post in the U.S. Department of Transportation, Housing and Urban Development or the Small Business Administration. McCrory unsuccessfully ran for re-election touting the state’s dropping unemployment rate, lower personal and corporate taxes, and one of the fastest-growing economies in the nation.
Their meeting comes the day after Trump’s stop in Fayetteville on his USA Thank You 2016 Tour. Speaking to a cheering crowd, Trump laid out a U.S. military policy that would avoid interventions in foreign conflicts and instead focus heavily on defeating the Islamic State militancy. In addition to being named Time Magazine’s Person of the Year, the president-elect made three administration picks this week, having announced that he plans to have most of the top positions squared away by Christmas.
Department of Homeland Security Secretary
Retired Marine Gen. John Kelly
As head of the U.S. Southern Command, Kelly’s final leadership post in a 45-year military career, Kelly was responsible for U.S. military activities and relationships in Latin America and the Caribbean.
Housing and Urban Development Secretary
Dr. Ben Carson
Carson is a retired neurosurgeon who dropped out of the Republican presidential nominating race in March and threw his support behind Trump. He is known for his personal story of triumph over poverty, having grown up in inner city Detroit.
Ambassador to China
Terry Branstad
Iowa’s governor, Branstad is a long-standing friend of Beijing and trade experts say the pick may help ease tensions between the two countries, the world’s two biggest agricultural producers.