CNBC reported Saturday afternoon that President-elect Donald Trump has selected Exxon Mobil President and Chief Executive Officer Rex Tillerson as his secretary of state.
BREAKING: Trump picks Exxon Mobil CEO Tillerson to be his Secretary of State – @NBCNews
— CNBC (@CNBC) December 10, 2016
Tillerson became chairman and CEO of Exxon in January 2006, and since his rise to the position, the company has been supportive of climate change science and has been in favor of a carbon tax.
As the top executive of Exxon, Tillerson has an extensive background working and negotiating with foreign leaders. His ties to Russia are most notable, as Exxon has partnered internationally with Russian oil giant Rosneft. Tillerson also received the Order of Friendship decoration from the Russian government in 2012.
However, Trump team Communications Director Jason Miller has refuted the announcement on Twitter, although all signs have pointed to Tillerson as the front-runner. In his statement, Miller did not deny that Tillerson had in fact been selected, saying, “Transition Update: No announcements on Secretary of State until next week at the earliest.”
Transition Update: No announcements on Secretary of State until next week at the earliest. #MakeAmericaGreatAgain
— Jason Miller (@JasonMillerinDC) December 10, 2016
The report comes at a time when the U.S. government tries to assess whether Russia worked to influence the 2016 presidential election. Late Friday, the CIA released a report asserting that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election to secure a Trump win.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to add a statement from Trump communications director Jason Miller.