05:06 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Rex Tillerson testifies during a confirmation hearing

    US Senator Marco Rubio to Vote for Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson

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    US Senator Marco Rubio, the only Republican who could stop the confirmation of President Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of state, said Monday he will support Rex Tillerson.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — On December 13, 2016, Trump officially announced that he'd tapped Tillerson as his choice for the next US Secretary of State. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee will hold a vote on Tillerson's confirmation at 4:30 p.m. (9:30 p.m. GMT) on Monday.

    "Despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate," Rubio said in a statement.

    Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing was no walk in the park for Tillerson who came under fire from Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez, and Committee Chairman Bob Corker for his alleged inability to take a hardline stance against Russia.

    Tillerson is known for his close business ties with Russia. The businessman is also believed to have friendly relations with President Putin.

    Meanwhile, during the course of the hearing, Tillerson stressed that he supported anti-Russian sanctions including the controversial Magnitsky Act, the punitive US response to Crimea's reunification with Russia, and the idea that allegedly "targeted bombing" in Aleppo by Russia and Syria "violated the international order."

    US Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon serves as chief US diplomat until the secretary-designate is confirmed by Congress, State Department spokesperson John Kirby told reporters on Thursday.

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    U.S. Department of State, Rex Tillerson, Marco Rubio, United States
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