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Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., is denying any effort to sway President-elect Trump against choosing John Bolton as deputy secretary of state.

The Tennessee Republican was a contender for the top diplomatic post at State before Trump picked Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson for the job. It will be his job to lead the confirmation hearings for Tillerson and whomever is chosen as his deputy.

On Friday, Corker said he has played no role in trying to persuade the transition team not to name Bolton despite “some in Washington trying to use rumor and innuendo to influence the decision.”

“I have never had any conversations with anyone in the Trump organization about who should serve in the deputy secretary of state position, including the secretary of state nominee, Rex Tillerson,” Corker said in a brief statement.

The New York Times on Wednesday reported that the prospect of Bolton as Tillerson’s deputy was meeting stiff GOP resistance in Washington. The paper reported that Corker has “said privately that he has misgivings” about Bolton and cited “a person who has spoken with him.”

CNN subsequently reported that Bolton’s candidacy for the deputy post is “encountering headwinds,” including from Tillerson. The CNN report cited “a source familiar with transition talks.”

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., has made no secret of his opposition to Bolton, and has pledged to block the nomination if Trump decides to choose him. Bolton, who served as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations during the George W. Bush administration, has close ties to former Vice President Dick Cheney.

The combative former diplomat generally supports a more interventionist U.S. foreign policy and still backs the decision to go to war in Iraq, which the libertarian-leaning Paul vehemently opposed. Trump too has said he will not pursue regime change through military action and would focus U.S. foreign policy on defeating the Islamic State.

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