Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson is being tipped as Donald Trump’s secretary of state.
NBC News quotes sources close to Donald Trump as saying that Rex Tillerson is likely to be named next week.
Former UN ambassador John Bolton will serve as his deputy, NBC adds.
The news comes as Donald Trump’s team challenged the accuracy of intelligence reports that Russia intervened to boost his election prospects.
Veteran Republican Mitt Romney is among others who have also been linked to the role of secretary of state.
NYC ex-Mayor Rudy Giuliani withdrew himself from consideration for the post last week. Rudy Giuliani’s foreign business dealings had raised questions over his suitability.
Rex Tillerson has extensive experience in international negotiations and a business relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
He has been a critic of the international sanctions against Russia for annexing Crimea.
Meanwhile, Donald Trump’s presidential transition team took issue with CIA assessments that said Russia had attempted to assist Trump during the November election by releasing hacked emails harmful to Hillary Clinton.
In a statement, Donald Trump’s transition team said the officials making the assessment were “the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction”.
Spokesman Sean Spicer said there were “people within these agencies who are upset with the outcome of the election”.