U.S. President-elect Donald Trump touted Rex Tillerson, his pick to become secretary of state, as a "great diplomat" who will "reverse years of foreign policy blunders" while being a "fierce advocate" for U.S. interests.
At a rally in Wisconsin on December 13, Trump praised Tillerson as one of the world's most successful businessmen with a career that is "the embodiment of the American dream."
"Through hard work, dedication, and smart deal-making, Rex rose through the ranks to become CEO of ExxonMobil, one of the world's largest and most respected companies," Trump said.
While many in Congress are criticizing Tillerson's close ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Trump saw that as a selling point.
"Rex is friendly with many of the leaders in the world that we don't get along with, and some people don't like that," Trump said. "They don't want him to be friendly. That's why I'm doing the deal with Rex, because I like what this is all about."
"We need a new direction," said Trump. "Instead of jumping recklessly from one intervention to another, my administration will build a long term strategy for stability, prosperity, peace, and rebuilding our own country."