Trump expected to name Tillerson secretary of state
To pass up Mitt Romney for ExxonMobil chief executive.
President-elect Donald Trump will announce his secretary of state choice Tuesday morning — and will reportedly pass up 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney in favor ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson.
On Monday evening, Mr. Romney confirmed on social media that he wasn’t the secretary of state choice by posting about the possibility in the past tense.
“It was an honor to have been considered for Secretary of State of our great country,” he wrote, going on to describe his two interviews with the president-elect as “both enjoyable and enlightening” and expressing “high hopes” for Mr. Trump’s success.
Mr. Trump had posted a few hours earlier on Twitter that he would announce his choice Tuesday.
According to CBS News and multiple other outlets, that pick will be Mr. Tillerson, the latest businessman to be added to his Cabinet.
Lawmakers of both parties had expressed concern over the potential pick in recent days, in part because of his coziness with Russian strongman Vladimir Putin, with whom he had negotiated energy deals.
In another expected move Tuesday though, Mr. Trump will smooth relations with the Republican establishment by selecting Ronna Romney McDaniel, the exnominee’s niece, as the next chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, according to multiple reports.
Ms. McDaniel currently serves as chairwoman of the Michigan Republican Party and a McDaniel pick also would help cement the GOP flag that Mr. Trump planted in Michigan.
“After Trump did so well in the Rust Belt it would make a lot of sense to pick a strong state chairman from Michigan — a state that we had not won since 1984 — to capitalize on that opportunity and to keep the right political focus on the needs of those votes and make sure the administration is responsive to the needs of those voters,” said Henry Barbour, a member of the RNC from Mississippi.
He said Ms. McDaniel would do a good job.
“She is strong, she is articulate, bright and likeable,” said Mr. Barbour.
RNC members will need to ratify her appointment as chairwoman at their January meeting, but members traditionally honor the choice of the incoming president.
“Whomever the president-elect wants to be the next chairman, we are all going to rally around them,” said Bruce Ash, an RNC member from Arizona.
He applauded the anticipated pick of Ms. McDaniel.
“The members have a lot of respect for her. Her and the whole Michigan GOP team really pulled of a great win for Donald Trump in Michigan, and if you are looking for somebody who has respect from a lot of members she certainly does,” said Mr. Ash.
Ms. McDaniel would succeed Reince Priebus, who Mr. Trump tapped for White House chief of staff.
In other transition news, Mr. Trump announced Monday that he would appoint Goldman Sachs President Gary D. Cohn as his chief economic adviser and director of the National Economic Council.
Mr. Trump said Mr. Cohn would be able to put his renowned business know-how to work for the American people.
“He will help craft economic policies that will grow wages for our workers, stop the exodus of jobs overseas and create many great new opportunities for Americans who have been struggling,” Mr. Trump said in a statement. “He fully understands the economy and will use all of his vast knowledge and experience to make sure the American people start winning again.”
Another appointment expected to come soon will likely draw applause from business and energy groups. According to Fox News, Mr. Trump had decided Monday night on former Texas Gov. Rick Perry as his pick for secretary of energy.
ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson is expected to be named on Tuesday as President-elect Donald Trump’s choice to be the next secretary of state, according to reports. Former GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney confirmed Monday that he was passed over for the job.