The Note: What You Need To Know About Trump’s Tillerson Pick

December 13, 2016, 9:16 AM


--TRUMP ANNOUNCES EXXONMOBIL CEO AS SECRETARY OF STATE PICK: Donald Trump has selected ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his pick for secretary of state, the transition team announced Tuesday morning in a press release, ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL notes. "Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State Department, and his relationships with leaders all over the world are second to none," Trump said in a statement. "I can think of no one more prepared, and no one more dedicated, to serve as secretary of state at this critical time in our history."

--MITT ROMNEY CALLS IT ‘AN HONOR TO HAVE BEEN CONSIDERED for Secretary of State of our great country. My discussions with President-elect Trump have been both enjoyable and enlightening. I have very high hopes that the new administration will lead the nation to greater strength, prosperity and peace.”

--TRUMP EXPECTED TO NAME RICK PERRY AS ENERGY SECRETARY: Trump is expected to name former Texas Gov. Rick Perry to be his secretary of energy, senior Trump transition officials tell ABC News. Perry was one of the first in the 2016 race to attack Trump -- calling him a "cancer of conservatism." He has met with Trump at least twice in recent days to discuss a position in the administration. If confirmed, Perry will lead the federal department he once said he wanted to eliminate -- and then forgot its name in a famous "oops" moment during a 2011 GOP primary debate. More from ABC’s DEVIN DWYER, CANDACE SMITH and TOM LLAMAS:

--ANALYSIS -- ABC’s RICK KLEIN: Hillary 2020? Let’s agree to put a pause on all such talk until at least the inauguration. But how else to explain her campaign operation’s decision – five weeks after a decisive Electoral College loss – to encourage electors be allowed to get classified intelligence briefings on the extent of Russian interference? Reverence for Alexander Hamilton notwithstanding, the Clinton team knows that exerting independent judgment is not what the Electoral College does. Those involved also know there’s no mechanism for gathering 538 individuals scattered across 51 jurisdictions into an intelligence briefing, much less getting them the required security clearances before they cast their votes next week. John Podesta’s statement in support of a briefing for electors marks the most aggressive attempt by Clinton aides to call the election’s results into question. It carries far more weight than support for recounts, in the statement’s implications. As for the politics, why have the Clinton operation on record in this way unless Hillary Clinton herself wants to be in the political mix moving forward? And in the short term, is anyone happier that this story is morphed into a political one than Donald Trump, who prefers these grapes taste sour?



FIORINA SAYS SHE DISCUSSED CHINA, HACKING WITH TRUMP. President-elect Donald Trump met with former GOP rival Carly Fiorina yesterday in New York, discussing China as an "our most important adversary" as well as hacking, according to the former Hewlett-Packard CEO. Trump tangled with Fiorina during the primary and drew criticism for comments made to Rolling Stone about her appearance, ABC’s VERONICA STRACQUALURSI notes. He later said he was referring to Fiorina's persona and said during a debate she's "got a beautiful face." After the meeting, Fiorina said she and Trump “spent a fair amount of time talking about China as probably our most important adversary and a rising adversary," Fiorina told reporters after leaving Trump Tower. "We talked about hacking, whether it's Chinese hacking or purported Russian hacking."

REPUBLICANS ARE GRAPPLING WITH HOW TO REPEAL OBAMACARE. Republicans on Capitol Hill have begun both tamping down expectations and trying to allay fears about how fast they can and should dismantle key components of President Obama’s signature health care law. House Speaker Paul Ryan in a television interview last week said that while Congress plans to vote to overturn and defund parts of the law as soon as possible, “it's going to be years,” before people who have access to insurance because of the law have to transition to a new program, note ABC’s MARYALICE PARKS and ALI ROGIN.

RUSSIA SAYS HACKING ALLEGATIONS HAVE 'NOTHING TO DO WITH REALITY.' The Kremlin is denying reports from the CIA that it used hacking to interfere with the 2016 election to help Republican Donald Trump win the presidency. Dmitry Peskov, press secretary to Russian President Vladimir Putin, referred to the allegations in a conference call with reporters as an "absolutely unfounded, unprofessional, unqualified statement and accusation which has nothing to do with reality," according to Russian state media. ABC’s ALANA ABRAMSON has more:

A TIMELINE OF RUSSIA'S HACKING INTO US POLITICAL ORGANIZATIONS AHEAD OF THE ELECTION. President-elect Donald Trump is arguing against U.S. intelligence reports that Russia interfered with the 2016 election by hacking and releasing damaging information related to Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, report ABC’s JUSTIN FISHEL and VERONICA STRACQUALURSI. "Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!" Trump tweeted Monday. He also tweeted, "Why wasn't this brought up before election?"

TRUMP PICKS GOLDMAN SACHS PRESIDENT GARY COHN TO BE ECONOMIC ADVISER. Donald Trump plans to name Goldman Sachs president and chief operating officer Gary Cohn the director of the White House National Economic Council, the Trump transition announced Monday, bringing the number people in his inner circle with ties to the Wall Street firm to three. “As my top economic advisor, Gary Cohn is going to put his talents as a highly successful businessman to work for the American people,” Trump said in a statement, writes ABC’s BENJAMIN SIEGEL.

EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GEN. JOHN KELLY, TRUMP'S PICK TO HEAD HOMELAND SECURITY. President-elect Donald Trump announced Monday that he has selected retired four-star Marine Gen. John Kelly as his pick to lead the Department of Homeland Security. The Department of Homeland Security, established in 2002 in the wake of the 9/11 attacks, is designed to coordinate national security, which means that Kelly, if confirmed by the Senate, would likely deal with issues like immigration, border security, domestic terrorism threats and cybersecurity. ABC’s ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN and ALANA ABRAMSON have what you need to know about Kelly:.



@SenRubioPress: While Rex Tillerson is a respected businessman, I have serious concerns about his nomination... 

@wexler: ExxonMobil consultants Condoleezza Rice and Robert Gates enthusiastically endorse ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State

@LindseyGrahamSC: Hope you will be able to join me today for a LIVE Facebook chat. Look forward to answering your questions. …

@MattMackowiak: My latest for @observer: 12 Things Russia Didn't Do … #RussiaHacking

@PoliticsReid: 19 states cut their budgets mid-year last year, more than any non-recessionary year in decades - …

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