Rex Tillerson: My wife convinced me to be USA secretary of state

Mr Tillerson, former head of Exxon Mobil with no previous political experience, said in an interview he was "stunned" with the invitation.

Secretary of State is one of the most senior roles in the USA government, and the task involves overseeing foreign relations and diplomacy. "I didn't seek this job", he told the conservative news outlet Independent Journal Review.

But the businessman has since revealed he initially did not want to take the role and had not even met the USA president before he was invited to Trump Towers and offered the position.

" 'I told you God's not through with you, ' " he said she told him. But not Rex Tillerson.

Tillerson, who will be 65 on Thursday, added that he had expected to retire after a career spanning four decades at ExxonMobil. "My wife convinced me", said Tillerson. Tillerson went on to say Japan "has a larger footprint [than South Korea] in the Asian Pacific region" and "is obviously an important element of that trilateral relationship [with South Korea]" in terms of Korean Peninsula issues. "She was right. I'm supposed to do this", he said.

But in the interview Mr Tillerson said: "I'm not a big media press access person". The secretary offers plenty of commentary sure to please President Trump, from explaining how the campaign slogan "America First" guides everything he does to criticizing the Obama administration for aiming to merely "degrade" ISIS (though President Obama said on numerous occasions that the goal was to "destroy" the terrorist group). He is expected to skip a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation meeting in early April and will visit Russian Federation instead.

Despite his close ties to Russia, Tillerson became Trump's pick weeks after parading political rival Mitt Romney at his New Jersey golf club and a pricey Manhattan meal.

  • Joanne Flowers