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Wednesday 25 April 2018

Senate confirms Rex Tillerson as secretary of state

The Republican-led Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's secretary of state. (AP/Steve Helber)
The Republican-led Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's secretary of state. (AP/Steve Helber)
Senator Jeff Sessions has been approved for the post of US attorney general in a Senate committee vote (AP)

The Republican-led Senate has confirmed Rex Tillerson as President Donald Trump's secretary of state.

Senators voted 56-43 largely along party lines to approve Mr Tillerson's nomination to be the nation's chief diplomat.

Most Senate Democrats opposed Mr Tillerson's nomination, angering Republicans who considered the former Exxon Mobil CEO to be highly qualified for the post.

Sen Ben Cardin, the Foreign Relations Committee's top Democrat, says he feared Tillerson would be a "yes man" and would not be able to prevent Mr Trump from pursuing a misguided foreign policy that leads the country "on a march of folly".

But Republicans had the numbers to push Mr Tillerson's nomination through. They got help from several Democrats who crossed party lines.

Mr Tillerson's ties to Russia and his stand on sanctioning Moscow have been a point of contention.

Press Association

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