Rex Tillerson wins support of McCain, Graham for secretary of state

Pat Benic  CNP via ZUMA

While the support of McCain and Graham are a boost to Tillerson's chances, neither serve on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will vote on the nomination late Monday.

The senators went on to say that now more than ever with America's friends growing more discouraged and our enemies growing emboldened, that we need a Secretary of State who recognizes that our nation can not succeed in the world by itself. Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State, according to a statement.

Many Democrats and Republicans McCain, Graham and Sen. When Tillerson's nomination was announced, in a Wall Street Journal article, friends and associates said few US citizens were closer to Putin than Tillerson. But after several meetings with Tillerson, they say they believe the former ExxonMobil CEO will be "an effective advocate for USA interests".

"Listen, this wasn't an easy call", McCain said Sunday on "This Week", but I also believe that when there's doubt, the incoming president gets the benefit of doubt, and that's the way I've treated every president".

Further roiling the debate is US intelligence's assessment that Russian Federation meddled in the presidential election to help Donald Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in the White House race. He's still "cautious" about this decision, but he has more confidence now after speaking with Tillerson on Russian Federation.

Separately, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) on Sunday predicted the Senate would confirm all of President Donald Trump's cabinet picks, despite Democratic lawmakers' objections. Marco Rubio is holding out against the nomination.

There was concern that if the trio of Republican senators opposed Tillerson's nomination, they could likely garner the support of a few others, effectively blocking Tillerson's nomination.

Still, a "no" vote from Rubio would not doom Tillerson's confirmation, because the nomination could go directly to the Senate floor even without a positive committee recommendation.