Rex W. Tillerson, until recently a long-serving CEO of ExxonMobil, has officially become the U.S. Secretary of State.
Tillerson had recently squeezed narrowly past the Foreign Committee who approved his nomination by a narrow 11-10 vote, and sent him further for a full senate vote, where he was confirmed on Wednesday.
Fifty-six senators voted in favor of Tillerson for the U.S. Secretary of State post, while 43 voted against.
His predecessor John Kerry had been confirmed 94-3 back in 2013.
As for Tillerson, the Texas-man recently resigned from Exxon to pursue political career, and severed his ties with the company to avoid the conflict of interest.
Those opposing his nomination as the secretary of state cited his lack of clarity when it comes to Exxon’s stance on climate change, and his „milquetoast“ relationship with Russia, where he had worked for years during his oil business career.
Those for him, have lauded his business successes with Exxon, where he had spend his whole career of four decades, and his vast international experience.
Tillerson was sworn in as the new U.S. Secretary of State on Wednesday, February 1 by the U.S. Vice President Mike Pence.
Tillerson said:”Well, first, I want to express my profound thanks to President Trump for giving me this extraordinary opportunity to serve my country. I also want to thank Vice President Pence for giving me the honor of swearing me into this office today.
I have a few folks in the room that are with me that have helped me over the last month to get to this point of confirmation. They represent a much larger cadre of people who have worked enormously long hours, tirelessly, helping me and guiding me through the confirmation process. And to them, I will always be eternally grateful for the sacrifice they’ve made of their time and effort these past weeks.
I’ve also received over the last month so many messages, letters, phone calls of best wishes, encouragement, prayers from family, friends and colleagues who know me well.
But I’ve also received an enormous outpouring of wonderful messages from people all over the country whom I do not know — words of encouragement and their prayers. And it’s their messages that are going to really stand in steadfast reminder to me as I enter the responsibilities of Secretary of State, that as I serve this President, I serve their interest and will always represent the interest of all of the American people at all times.”
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 2, 2017