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Doyle McManus

Should we trust Tillerson?

Should we trust Tillerson?

Donald Trump's nomination of ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be the nation's next secretary of state — after a protracted consideration of candidates — suggests the president-elect understands the position must be filled by a person of character, depth and vision. Mr. Tillerson leads one of the world's largest multinational companies and is accustomed to working with foreign leaders and to running a large organization often described as a "quasi-state."

But his nomination also poses major challenges, especially in two critical respects. While clearly knowledgeable about energy, he has very limited familiarity with many complex issues ranging from nuclear weapons to...