STATE DEPARTMENT Rex Tillerson sworn in as top USA diplomat

The US Senate today confirmed former ExxonMobil chief Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state, handing a major boost to President Donald Trump as he builds his cabinet.

Both Senators from Texas, Republicans John Cornyn and Ted Cruz, voted in favor of Tillerson's confirmation.

"I know this was a hotly contested election and we do not all feel the same way about the outcome", Tillerson said in his maiden address to the State Department officials. Unless Democrats agree to expedite the process, the Senate will vote on Tillerson's nomination on Wednesday.

Father-of-four Mr Tillerson is also known for his ties to Russian Federation which have been a point of contention for some opponents of President Trump.

"Your whole life has prepared you for this moment, and you really have had a tremendous life - heading up one of the great companies of the world and doing it magnificently, absolutely magnificently", Trump said.

"We consider that at one moment such a meeting will be held and first of all this may be possible at various worldwide events if minister Lavrov and State Secretary Tillerson happen to be there simultaneously", the source said.

After the 64-year-old oilman's nomination was confirmed by the Senate, he headed to the White House, where Trump formally named the political newcomer Washington's next top diplomat.

"And it's their messages that are going to really stand in steadfast reminder to me as I enter the responsibilities of secretary of State, that as I serve this president, I serve their interest and will always represent the interest of all of the American people at all times".

The significant vote against Tillerson is not a signal of any opposition by the Democratic Party to the right-wing rampage unleashed by President Trump since his inauguration January 20. All the panel's Democrats voted against the nomination.

Gorsuch faces a tough confirmation fight in the Republican-controlled Senate, after it refused to consider former president Barack Obama's nominee for the seat left vacant by the death of Antonin Scalia.

Pressed by Democrats in his Senate confirmation hearing in January, however, Mr Pruitt said he disagreed with Mr Trump's earlier claims that global warming is a hoax created by the Chinese to harm the economic competitiveness of the United States.

Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., said last week he would support Tillerson. Condoleeza Rice, by contrast, was approved by an 85-13 vote, Henry Kissinger by 78-7 and Dean Acheson by 83-6.

  • Joey Payne