Rex Tillerson Is Reasonable on Russia — and Adept Enough to Guide Trump to Better Policy, Says Corker

WASHINGTON -- Ahead of Rex Tillerson's confirmation hearing for secretary of state, the Senate's point man on foreign relations argued Friday that the retired ExxonMobil chief holds "mainstream" views on Russia -- and is adept enough to guide Donald Trump to a smarter stance on that key adversary."This is a guy that understands corporate politics I think this guy is a guy that's going to understand how the palace guard operates around the president," said Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn. "This is a guy that's going to understand how to till that and deal with that and make sure that when he's ready to make his case, things have been set up in such a way that he has an effect on foreign policy - a big effect. The kind of effect he wants to have."Concerns have dogged the president-elect, given his open admiration for Russia's strongman president Vladimir Putin and ongoing resistance to the consensus among U.S. intelligence agencies that Russia meddled in the November election by hacking into and then exposing embarrassing emails from leading Democrats."I believe the Russians have done very nefarious things," Corker told reporters at a breakfast organized by the Christian Science Monitor.And Tillerson, he said, has a clear-eyed view of Putin, despite criticism that, as CEO of the Irving-based oil giant, he has cut billion dollar deals with Russia and its president.  Continue reading...

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