Tags: Donald Trump | Lindsey Graham | Rex Tillerson | secretary of state | confirmation

Sen. Graham: Tillerson Lacked 'Strength, Clarity' in Confirmation

MSNBC's "Morning Joe"

Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:42 PM

Secretary of Sate nominee Rex Tillerson should have "knocked it out of the park" during his confirmation hearing, but lacked "strength and clarity" in his positions on Russia, according to South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.

The ExxonMobil CEO faced a tough grilling Wednesday, particularly from Florida GOP Sen. Marco Rubio, who at one point asked Tillerson if he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal because of his military attacks on civilians in Aleppo, Syria, as Politico reported.

Tillerson balked, saying he needed more information before using the label.

At another point, Rubio pushed Tillerson to acknowledge it can be deadly to criticize the Kremlin.

"He should have knocked it out of the park," Graham said Thursday during an interview Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

"He should have turned to Marco and everybody down on the committee and said, 'I see what they did in Aleppo, I know what they did in Aleppo, it is wrong, and it is time for Russia to pay a price across the board – not just for hacking into our election but for destabilizing the world," Graham said.

Still, Graham said he thinks the Tillerson nomination is "salvageable."

"I think Tillerson's a very qualified guy," Graham said. "But I'd like to see more strength and clarity when it comes to Russia and the moral clarity that Marco was talking about."

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Secretary of Sate nominee Rex Tillerson should have "knocked it out of the park" during his confirmation hearing, but lacked "strength and clarity" in his positions on Russia, according to South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham.
Lindsey Graham, Rex Tillerson, secretary of state, confirmation
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2017-42-12
Thursday, 12 Jan 2017 10:42 PM
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