Rubio chides Trump for boasting about likely secretary of state pick’s relationship with Putin

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Marco Rubio.
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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio chided President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday for citing Rex Tillerson’s close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin as one of the reasons he thought he would be a good secretary of state.

“Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState,” Rubio tweeted.

Rubio’s comment came after Trump told Fox News that Tillerson possesses foreign-policy experience that makes him an attractive candidate for the nation’s top diplomatic post.

“He’s much more than a business executive,” Trump said. “I mean, he’s a world-class player.”

Trump added: “And to me, a great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows them well. He does massive deals in Russia. He does massive deals for the company – not for himself – for the company.”

It was reported on Saturday by NBC News and The New York Times that Trump is likely to tap the Exxon Mobile CEO for secretary of state. An official announcement is expected in the coming days.

If selected, Tillerson could face a difficult hurdle being confirmed.

A number of senators have expressed worry over his relationship with Putin and whether he has sufficient experience to represent the US as chief diplomat.