Exxon chief Rex Tillerson (above left) is reportedly President-elect Donald Trump’s top choice for the post of secretary of state. The position is the United States’ highest diplomatic post. Tillerson, who is close to Russian President Vladimir Putin, reportedly met Trump for the second time this week. The news comes a day after the Central Intelligence Agency said that Russian cyber attacks helped Trump win the presidential election.

Tillerson has known Putin for more than two decades and was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship in 2013, The New York Times reported. Like Donald Trump, Tillerson has no previous political experience. Republican senator John McCain said on Saturday that the Exxon CEO’s links with Putin were “a matter of concern to me.” “I’d have to examine it,” he said on Fox News, calling Putin “a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.”

Tillerson has worked with many global leaders in his time as Exxon chief, but with a different agenda. He had criticised economic sanctions against Russia, which had hampered Exxon’s work with Russia’s state oil company Rosneft. Exxon is also facing investigation for misleading investors about what it knew about climate change.

The US secretary of state is the country’s equivalent to India’s external affairs minister. “The Secretary of State, appointed by the President with the advice and consent of the Senate, is the President’s chief foreign affairs adviser. The Secretary carries out the President’s foreign policies through the State Department and the Foreign Service of the United States,” the Department of State says. Trump’s rival in the presidential polls, Hillary Clinton, was secretary of state for President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2013.