Kellyanne Conway downplays Rex Tillerson's ties to Russia: "It’s not like he’s pounding down vodka with Vladimir Putin"

"He’s dealt with him in a business context," Trump's campaign manager said of his likely secretary of State pick



Brendan Gauthier
December 13, 2016 2:44AM (UTC)

Donald Trump's campaign manager, Kellyanne Conway, on Monday defended the president-elect's likely secretary of State pick, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, who's drawn criticism for his close ties to Russia.

"Secretary of State is the fourth-highest ranking individual in our government, a very important decision," Conway told ABC's "Good Morning America." "A leading candidate, Rex Tillerson of Exxon, has dealt with Russia for many years."

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Conway promised that whoever Trump picks will "improve relationships and advance U.S. interests and advance the Trump doctrine."

She added: "It’s not like he’s pounding down vodka with Vladimir Putin at the local bar, but he’s dealt with him in a business context."

Tillerson has, indeed, dealt with Putin in a business context — in that the two were wearing business suits when they drank champagne together:

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Conway also remarked on calls from Democrats — who she portrayed as sore losers — for an investigation into Russia's alleged attempts to interfere with the U.S. election.

"First it was Jim Comey's fault" that Clinton lost the election, she said. "Then let's have a recount, that wasted millions of dollars and everybody's time, that went nowhere. Then it's Russian interference. Then it's a bunch of people in a movement (white nationalism) that we've disavowed many times. How 'bout it's just Hillary Clinton and the message?"

Watch below:

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Brendan Gauthier

Brendan Gauthier is a freelance writer.

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