04:03 GMT +313 December 2019
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    Rex W. Tillerson gives a speech at the annual Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition & Conference in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016

    Tillerson to Be 'Informed, Independent Advisor' to Trump

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    Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates described Rex Tillerson, nominee for the position US Secretary of State, as a "deeply knowledgeable" professional.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — Rex Tillerson, nominee for the position US Secretary of State, would be a knowledgeable and independent counselor to President-elect Donald Trump, former Defense Secretary Robert Gates said during Tillerson's confirmation hearing at the US Senate on Wednesday.

    "He [Tillerson] is deeply knowledgeable about the international scene and geopolitics, and importantly, would be an informed and independent advisor to the president," Gates stated.

    Gates also noted that Tillerson would be honest with Trump, and deliver information the US president needed to hear, not just what he wanted to hear.

    Tillerson resigned from his position as CEO of oil giant ExxonMobil on December 31.

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