A consultant to Donald Trump's transition team has suggested Rex Tillerson's friendship with Vladimir Putin could be an advantage in his role as secretary of state.
Jan Halper-Hayes spoke to Julia Hartley-Brewer after Tillerson's appointment was confirmed this morning.
Halper-Hayes said: "People think Tillerson is the worst because he’s friends with Putin. They think anyone is a friend of Putin isn’t an attribute for the secretary of state. Why are we not giving them the benefit of the doubt [and accepting] that they have the kind of relationship to make it work?
Maybe the strategy is [to] go with hand held out to make peace, versus if you send someone who thinks [Putin's] corrupt."
However Halper-Hayes had some words of caution regarding the new appointee, saying "Tillerson has spent his entire life in one organisation. I don’t know how he could possibly cope with running the state department. He’ll need someone who can provide balance."
Regarding accusations that Trump's business ventures will create conflicts of interest, Halper-Hayes told Julia he "wants to do it right", and urged the public to not follow "the mainstream media who still can’t stand him."
Listen to the full interview above