Tags: Donald Trump | bob corker | rex tillerson | best choice | trump | achieve

Corker: Tillerson 'Best Choice' for What Trump Wants to Achieve

Fox News' "America's Newsroom"

By    |   Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 02:43 PM

Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson was the "best choice" for what President-elect Donald Trump wants to do with his foreign policy choices, Sen. Bob Corker, who was on the short list for the position, said on Wednesday.

"As I said when President-elect Trump called me on Monday night, Rex Tillerson is someone known around the globe," the Tennessee Republican told Fox News' "America's Newsroom" program. "He has run a huge operation and he knows these people personally."

Corker chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and will lead Tillerson's confirmation process next month, and told Fox News that "people will really want to press him about what his views are" concerning Russia, China, and the Middle East.

"My guess is he will be very prepared," said Corker. "He is a prolific deal maker and I think people are going to want to understand towards what end."

The United States has had 60 or 70 years of policy toward Europe since the end of World War II, and the nations have been "whole, democratic, and free," but Russian President Vladimir Putin is "obviously trying to upset" that with what he has been doing in the Baltics, Eastern Ukraine and Crimea.

Putin has also affected Europe through Syria's refugee crisis, which he has helped produce, said Corker.

Tillerson, as a businessman, has had relationships with other nations' leaders and knows many of the top players, but the committee will want to know if he will be advising the president as it relates to those relationships, said Corker.

He believes that Tillerson will eventually be confirmed.

"This is a guy that exudes confidence, calm, strength, leadership," said Corker. "I assume, unless he is going to totally attempt to reorder the world as it relates to our relationships, that he will be but again, it is not going to be your normal pro-forma deal. The last two secretaries of state were widely known, relative to their views. Rex Tillerson, highly respected, comes to this as a clean slate where no one really understands what those views are. People are going to want to know."

In addition, Trump has said some things concerning Putin and Russia that are very different than usual U.S. policy, said Corker, and "that alone has sort of amplified people's concerns" about Tillerson.

Meanwhile, there will need to be more briefings and hearings to deal with concerns that Russia may have interfered in the 2016 presidential race, but there is no question there was hacking going on, said Corker.

"Sophisticated countries do things to gather intelligence," said Corker. "I mean it used to be almost done by human beings, human intelligence ... there are other ways of gathering intelligence and countries do this around the world. Should we have our hair on fire that hacking took place? No. I mean that's what happens."

But, Corker said, "every time I make a phone call I assume somebody from another country is trying to listen in on that."

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Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson was the "best choice" for what President-elect Donald Trump wants to do with his foreign policy choices, Sen. Bob Corker, who was on the short list for the position, said on Wednesday.
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Wednesday, 14 Dec 2016 02:43 PM
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