(WASHINGTON) — President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state headed for approval in a key Senate committee Monday after Florida Sen. Marco Rubio <a href=”http://time.com/4643365/marco-rubio-rex-tillerson-support/”>announced his support</a>, backing off from a challenge to the new president.
Rubio said that despite serious reservations about former <a href=”http://fortune.com/fortune500/exxon-mobil-2/” target=”_blank”>Exxon Mobil</a> CEO Rex Tillerson, particularly over his views on Russia, he believed a president was entitled to significant deference in assembling his Cabinet.
“Despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate,” said Rubio, <a href=”http://time.com/4642953/marco-rubio-rex-tillerson-confirmation-secretary-of-state/”>who’d come under strong pressure from fellow Republicans</a> to back the nomination and avoid dealing Trump an embarrassing setback in the early days of his presidency.
Rubio’s announcement in a statement posted on Facebook came just hours before the Foreign Relations Committee was slated to meet and vote on Tillerson’s nomination. Rubio’s support virtually assures that the nominee will move through the committee and win full Senate confirmation.