Rex Tillerson is friends with Putin and it could be an advantage, says Trump transition consultant

'Don't go by mainstream media' on Donald Trump's business interests, says transition team consultant

Donald Trump

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

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