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McCain Undecided On Tillerson's Nomination As Secretary Of State


After previously indicating he was leaning toward supporting Rex Tillerson's nomination as Secretary of State, Senator John McCain, R-Ariz., noted Wednesday evening he has not made up his mind about confirming the former head of ExxonMobil (XOM).

In an interview with "CBS Evening News" anchor Scott Pelley, McCain expressed concerns about Tillerson's close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who the senator described as a "butcher."

"I have concerns. And I have had several conversations with him," McCain said of Tillerson. "And he has made a strong case that his job as one of world's largest corporations is very different from that of our secretary of state."

"Frankly I have a tendency to believe him," he added. "Obviously he's been a great success in business, but I really would like to see more of this issue of what America stands for."

McCain told Fox News earlier in the week that he was "barely" leaning toward supporting Tillerson's nomination but noted that he had not completely made up his mind.

Republican Senators Marco Rubio, R-Fla., and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have also expressed concerns about Tillerson's nomination, potentially complicating his path to confirmation.

During his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee last week, Tillerson said the U.S. must be clear-eyed about its relationship with Russia.

Tillerson acknowledged that words alone will not be enough to address an at times contentious relationship with Russia but argued there needs to be open and frank dialogue between the two nations.

The comments from Tillerson came amid questions about his business dealings with Russia and other countries while leading Exxon.

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