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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 RubioTim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's speech to Congress GOP sees immigration as path to regain power Bipartisan group of senators holds immigration talks amid border surge MORE (Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainCindy McCain rejects idea of running for office: 'I've been there' Bush says he doesn't criticize other presidents to avoid risking friendship with Michelle Obama 'Real Housewives of the GOP' — Wannabe reality show narcissists commandeer the party MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamUS Chamber of Commerce comes out in support of bipartisan, bicameral immigration bill Joe Lieberman to push senators on DC statehood GOP sees immigration as path to regain power 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.