Washington, DC – U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) issued the following statement:

“I have serious concerns regarding the President-Elect’s choice of Rex Tillerson to lead the Department of State. Mr. Tillerson's lifelong career at Exxon does not offer the full range of experience necessary to lead our nation’s efforts to tackle some of the world’s most pressing challenges, ranging from suppression of free speech and media to human rights violations, global climate change, and violent insurgencies.

“Furthermore, Mr. Tillerson’s close ties to Russia, and Mr. Putin specifically, are deeply disconcerting in their own right and particularly when taken in the broader context of the incoming Administration’s cozy ties to the Kremlin. In fact, while the United States and its allies were increasing sanctions of Russia over their actions in Ukraine, Mr. Tillerson was busy pursuing closer ties to the Russian government. That gives me great pause when I think about the key characteristics needed to be America’s top diplomat, among them an unwavering commitment to pursuing America’s best interests, values, and national security.

“His relationships and the resulting conflicts of interest demand great scrutiny, which is especially appropriate in light of Russia's efforts to influence the outcome of November's election. I look forward to Mr. Tillerson’s hearing and a thorough vetting by the Senate.”‎