Trump announces Tillerson as Secretary of State pick

Secretary of State pick
Pence on transition

WASHINGTON (WTHR) - President-elect Donald Trump announced Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his pick for Secretary of State Tuesday morning.

"Rex Tillerson's career is the embodiment of the American dream," Trump said in a news release. "Through hard work, dedication and smart deal making, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world's largest and most respected companies. His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State. He will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States. Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none. I can think of no one more prepared, and no one more dedicated, to serve as Secretary of State at this critical time in our history."

Earlier Monday, Trump announced his plan on Twitter to reveal his choice Tuesday morning. His search for the country's top diplomat has stretched out in a highly public fashion for weeks.

In addition to Tillerson, who met with Trump twice during the past week, the president-elect has been considering former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, once a vocal Trump critic, who posted to Facebook Monday night that he was not going to be selected.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who leads the Foreign Relations Committee, was also reportedly under consideration.

In an interview with "Fox News Sunday," Trump pointed to Tillerson's deep relations with Moscow as a selling point. As Exxon Mobil's head, Tillerson maintained close ties with Russia and was awarded by President Vladimir Putin with the Order of Friendship, an honor for foreign citizens.

(The Associated Press contributed to this story.)