Senators McCain, Graham to support Tillerson nomination

The senators went on to say that now more than ever with America's friends growing more discouraged and our enemies growing emboldened, that we need a Secretary of State who recognizes that our nation can not succeed in the world by itself. With Graham and McCain vowing publicly to vote for Tillerson, if Rubio ultimately decides not to support him, then it likely won't tank Tillerson's confirmation.

"This is why I am voting for him", Graham said.

McCain and Graham released a joint statement on Sunday announcing their support and addressed the subject in separate interviews. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), all voiced their concerns with Tillerson, especially his close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

As CEO of Exxon Mobil, Tillerson spoke out against US sanctions levied on Moscow following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula in 2014.

The committee is narrowly split between 11 Republicans and 10 Democrats so Republicans must all hold together to vote Tillerson out favorably, unless he gets some Democratic backing.

But when asked by "This Week" moderator George Stephanopoulos whether he had "utmost confidence in President Trump", McCain responded: "I do not know". However, McCain said he gained more confidence in Tillerson after speaking with him about Russian Federation.

But Senate minority leader Chuck Schumer (Democrat-New York) said on January 22 that his Democratic Party won't be rushing to confirming President Donald Trump's cabinet nominees.

The Senate Foreign Relations Committee is set to vote on Tillerson's nomination on Monday. Despite strong opposition from Democrats, the support from McCain and Graham almost ensures that Tillerson will secure the position. "But I also believe that, when there's doubt, the president, the incoming president, gets the benefit of the doubt". "If we don't punish Russian Federation for what they did in our election, then Iran and China could come in to the next election".

  • Audrey Hill