Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson is facing a tough confirmation hearing because of his past associations with Russian President Vladimir Putin, but Sen. Bob Corker said Tuesday he feels reassured about the retired Exxon Mobil chairman after meeting personally with him.
"I had a long phone conversation with him first, and then we sat down," the Tennessee Republican told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" on Tuesday, declining to comment on Tillerson's answers to his questions.
Corker, though, said he has spoken to Tillerson several times before Trump picked him to head the State Department, and he has not found the veteran oilman's views to be "out of the mainstream" from those held by other conservatives.
"I think any of us who understand the secretary of state process understand that the secretary of state is going to carry out the president's foreign policy, but they're up under the hood helping shape that," Corker said. "Yes, I think there's going to be a lot of tough questions about his views, Tillerson's views, and how he will hope to influence the president in a certain way. It's going to be a very serious hearing."
Corker said he does believe Trump was attracted to Tillerson because of his relationships with foreign entities, and because he has run a global enterprise.
"I think he may be the kind of person with the stature, and the things that the president-elect respects that may be able to shape views in a very positive way," Corker said. "People are going to have tough questions on North Korea, on South China, on Taiwan, the South China Sea, on Taiwan, on Syria, on everything you can think of.
"And by the way, I think that's good, and I think that he's been preparing himself well for those types of questions. "
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.