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Florida Sen. Marco Rubio said Sunday the individual President-elect Donald Trump taps to be his secretary of state should not a friend of Russian President Vladimir Putin in an apparent swipe at Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson.

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

The Tweet alludes to Tillerson, who was awarded the Order of Friendship honor by Putin in 2013 and has significant business ties in Russia. The oil tycoon is expected to be named to the top diplomatic post next week, according to multiple reports.

Rubio joins at least two other Republican lawmakers who have questioned Tillerson’s fitness for coveted Cabinet-level position.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, has said Tillerson’s ties to Russia are “a matter of concern” to him while Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., called his anticipated appointment “a bit unnerving.”

“If you received an award from the Kremlin … then we’re going to have some talking,” Graham told the Washington Post.

The Senate could block Tillerson from leading the State Department if at least three Republicans were to join all of their Democratic counterparts in voting against him after his confirmation hearings.

Paul Ryan rejects 'politicization' of CIA Russian hacking leaks

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Ryan “rejects any politicization of intelligence matters,” one of his top aides said.

12/11/16 2:59 PM



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