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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 RubioHillicon Valley: YouTube to restore Trump's account | House-passed election bill takes aim at foreign interference | Senators introduce legislation to create international tech partnerships Senators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China DeSantis's rising GOP profile fuels 2024 talk MORE (Fla.), John McCainJohn Sidney McCainFormer Trump Defense chief Esper to join McCain Institute We need an independent 1/6 commission that the whole country can have confidence in GOP targets Manchin, Sinema, Kelly on Becerra MORE (Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamSenate holds longest vote in history as Democrats scramble to save relief bill Biden helps broker Senate deal on unemployment benefits Senate braces for 'God-awful,' 'stupid' session ahead of COVID-19 relief vote 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.