McCain 'Concerned' About Rex Tillerson's Friendship with 'Butcher' Putin
President-elect Donald Trump will nominate Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of state within the next few days, Fox News has confirmed.
Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) said this morning that he views Tillerson's "friendship" with Russian President Vladimir Putin as an issue.
"I am concerned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin. [Putin] is a thug, a murderer, a KGB guy who only wants to restore the Russian empire," said McCain, calling out Moscow for shooting down an airliner over Ukraine and now bombing hospitals in Aleppo, Syria in support of Bashar al-Assad.
He said Tillerson should receive a fair Senate confirmation hearing, but added that Tillerson's "friendship award from a butcher" must be closely examined.
Tillerson was reported to have received Russia's Order of Friendship decoration in 2012 and opposed sanctions on Russia. McCain's sentiments were shared by Senate colleague Marco Rubio (R-FL).
Being a "friend of Vladimir" is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState - MR
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) December 11, 2016
Asked about Tillerson on "Fox News Sunday," Trump called him "much more than a business executive" and a "world-class player."
Watch the "America's Newsroom" clip above, as McCain also weighed in on U.S. intelligence agencies' assessment that Russian hacking was aimed at interfering with the presidential election and helping Trump.