Trump says Exxon Mobil’s Tillerson more than executive

Todd Shields

President-elect Donald Trump called his possible secretary of state choice Rex Tillerson “much more than a business executive” in an interview to be aired Sunday.

"He’s a world-class player,” Trump said in an interview with Chris Wallace for “Fox News Sunday,” according to a short preview posted on Fox News’ Facebook page on Saturday. Trump said Exxon Mobil Corp., where Tillerson has been chief executive officer for a decade, is “unbelievably managed.”

Trump didn’t address whether Tillerson is his choice for the post of top U.S. diplomat, as NBC News reported on Saturday.

“A great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows them well,” Trump said. “He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the company — not for himself, for the company."

Tillerson has ties toRussian President Vladimir Putin that go back almost two decades. That connection could make him a useful bridge between the Russian leader and Trump, who has repeatedly said he’d seek a more cooperative relationship with Moscow.

To contact the reporter on this story: Todd Shields in Washington at To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jon Morgan at, Ros Krasny, Bernard Kohn

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