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Tillerson is capable but won’t quell Trump concerns: Eurasia’s Bremmer

Rex Tillerson is a very capable businessman but he is not going to be able to rid concerns in Asia about President-elect Donald Trump, says a leading American political scientist.

Ian Bremmer, president and founder of global political risk consultancy, Eurasia Group, told CNBC's Squawk Box that he doesn't believe Trump's nominee for secretary of state is bad news for the middle eastern region, but that the real question was the President-elect himself.

"Rex Tillerson is a very capable businessman. He is certainly a guy that knows his way around these blocks but ultimately I don't think he's going to be the one driving policy."

Speaking more broadly about worries accompanying the incoming administration from a foreign policy perspective, Bremmer spoke to the differences between Trump's role as a businessman and as a world leader.

"You have to be worried that he isn't really capable of showing a lot of nuances. As a businessman that's fine…but there does need to be some diplomacy in your foreign policy," he warned.

"I don't believe that Trump actually has the policy chops to know the implications of what he's doing but I do know that American allies in Asia are desperately concerned that Trump is not a guy that can be counted on," Bremmer asserted.

Russian President, Vladimir Putin (R) and Rex Tillerson (L), Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil during a signing ceremony for an arctic oil exploration deal between Exxon Mobil and Rosneft on August, 30, 2011 in Sochi, Russia.
Sasha Mordovets | Getty Images
Russian President, Vladimir Putin (R) and Rex Tillerson (L), Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil during a signing ceremony for an arctic oil exploration deal between Exxon Mobil and Rosneft on August, 30, 2011 in Sochi, Russia.

The Eurasia Group president also put forth the concept of a "geopolitical recession" saying that it is already impacting global markets. In his view, the U.S. has escaped from the traumas, such as the Syrian war and the ongoing battle against ISIS, that have spilled over from the middle east and significantly affected Europe.

He claims that the average American sees that they have suffered no economic backlash from this turn of events and is consequently now saying "it's not my problem."

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters while campaigning at Regent University October 22, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.
Getty Images
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to supporters while campaigning at Regent University October 22, 2016 in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

Changing tack and referring to the disillusionment often cited regarding President Barack Obama's foreign policy record, the political scientist specifically addressed the dynamic with Russia, noting that the extent of Trump's enthusiasm for President Vladimir Putin was puzzling.

"I get Trump wanting to score some points by saying I see this failed I want to do something else but…ignoring the hard intelligence, not even wanting to see evidence on Russian hacking, saying it's wrong…that wasn't going to help him in the election," Bremmer outlined.

"There is something going on;there is a reason why Trump wanted to help the Russians – I don't know if it is because of economic interests with Russia or because of his advisers being close to them," he continued.

Bremmer noted the Russian issue was doubly difficult given both Tillerson – due to his current role as chief executive of Exxon Mobil –and Trump had ties with the country.

He posited that given this backdrop, the nomination of Tillerson could cause clear problems among Republicans.

"It is a serious issue and certainly I think it's going to complicate Tillerson's appointment."

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