WILMINGTON - U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.), a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement after reports that President-elect Donald Trump has selected Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his nominee for Secretary of State. 

"I am committed to giving any nominee from the President-elect thorough and fair consideration, and Mr. Tillerson would bring decades of international business experience to his service.  Still, I am deeply concerned that Mr. Tillerson's long and close ties to Russia and Russian President Vladimir Putin could unduly influence his decision making at a time when we need to be direct and tough with Russia, given recent credible reports of Russian efforts to interfere in our democracy, and events in Syria and Ukraine.

“As a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, I am eager to learn more about Mr. Tillerson's approach to Russia, North Korea, ISIS, China and many other critical issues that our next Secretary of State will have to face."