Tags: Trump Administration | Donald Trump | Homeland Security | Newt Gingrich | Rex Tillerson | Cabinet | transition

Gingrich: Tillerson 'as Good as a Catch' Trump Could Get for Cabinet

Fox News' "Fox & Friends"

By    |   Monday, 12 Dec 2016 10:31 AM

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is "as good as a catch" President-elect Donald Trump could get for his Cabinet, as he will be able to represent the United States as secretary of State "in a very tough-minded way," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday.

"He has found somebody who has run a huge organization, who knows how to make deals internationally," Gingrich told Fox News' "Fox & Friends." "I think that he will be very, very effective."

Trump has not officially announced Tillerson's nomination, although NBC's Andrea Mitchell, on Saturday, and Fox News, on Monday, both reported "sources" had confirmed the veteran oil man will head the State Department.

Tillerson's potential appointment has raised eyebrows, both because of his lack of political or diplomatic experience, and because of his close association with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Gingrich said Tillerson's experience makes him a good pick.

"First of all, one of the things that's sick about Washington is they have this really weird model if you've never done anything but been a college professor or served as a bureaucrat or been in Congress, 'how can we determine that you are real?'" Gingrich said.

"When President [Dwight] Eisenhower wanted to pick a secretary of State, he picked John Foster Dulles. He spent his entire career litigating the entire world."

Tillerson, continued Gingrich, "knows the world," and when tied in with Commerce nominee Wilbur Ross and Steve Mnuchin at Treasury, "you actually have an economic team that knows something about the economy, might lead us to create jobs and once again be the world's economic powerhouse."

Both former Defense Secretary Robert Gates and ex-Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice recommended hiring a business person, as they knew Trump wants to reestablish America as the world's leading economy, Gingrich said.

"He realizes that you can't sustain $800 billion a year deficits forever, and that's going to take somebody who knows how to make economic deals," Gingrich said.

Gingrich also praised the selection of retired Gen. John Kelly to lead Homeland Security, saying he is a "great warrior but also a great intellectual."

The former House speaker also ridiculed reports Russia interfered with the presidential election in favor of Trump over Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

"Every single email that hurt Hillary Clinton was hers," Gingrich said. "Every single email that hurt her team was their own writing, and now they want to find somebody else to blame.

"They lost an election they were sure they had won, and it's frankly disgraceful that a president in a partisan way is weakening the intelligence services by asking his political appointees to reach some kind of judgment."

Further, he said, news articles pointing at Russia, and using unnamed sources, are "goofy."

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Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is "as good as a catch" President-elect Donald Trump could get for his Cabinet, as he will be able to represent the United States as secretary of State "in a very tough-minded way," former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said Monday.
Rex Tillerson, Cabinet, transition, secretary, state
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2016-31-12
Monday, 12 Dec 2016 10:31 AM
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