George W. Bush urges senator to back Tillerson

Former President George W. Bush is seeking to drum up support for Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson's nomination for secretary of State, according to a top GOP lawmaker. 

 
"Also appreciated a call I received from President George W. Bush, who spoke highly of Mr. Tillerson and offered support for his nomination," Corker said. 
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Tillerson's nomination has been met with some skepticism on both sides of the aisle thanks to his relationship with Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin. The scrutiny comes a time when the American intelligence community is pointing the finger at Russia for the Democratic National Committee hack that roiled the presidential race. 
 
Republican Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioDems say attorney general undermined credibility with Trump talking point Pollster says there is no downside to Dems jumping into 2020 primary Senate confirms Trump's pick for ambassador to Saudi Arabia MORE (Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump gives nod to vulnerable GOP Sen. McSally with bill signing Democrats need a 'celebrity' candidate — and it's not Biden or Sanders Juan Williams: The high price of working for Trump MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamWhy Ken Cuccinelli should be Trump's choice for DHS Ten post-Mueller questions that could turn the tables on Russia collusion investigators GOP senators double down on demand for Clinton email probe documents MORE (S.C.) have all expressed caution about Tillerson's nomination, with Rubio declaring he has "serious concerns" about him. 
 
Rubio and Graham sit on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, which will hold confirmation hearings for Tillerson. 
 
As head of the oil conglomerate, Tillerson negotiated a major energy partnership with Russia and received the Russian Order of Friendship in 2013. 
 
But Trump allies and others have fought back against those concerns to vouch for Tillerson, including a number of prominent figures associated with the Bush family, such as former secretaries of State Condoleezza Rice and James Baker, as well as former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.