Cheney emerges as surprise Trump surrogate

During the campaign, Donald Trump trashed the hawkish foreign policy of the second Bush White House. But now he and his team are relying on the man most closely identified with that regime — Dick Cheney — to help ensure Rex Tillerson is confirmed next year as Trump’s secretary of state.

As Republicans have voiced reservations about Tillerson’s relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, Cheney — himself a former oil executive, a longtime Tillerson friend, and perhaps the country’s most famous foreign policy hawk — is serving as a bridge between the Trump team and skeptical Republican senators.

It’s a scenario no one could have possibly foreseen: that one of the key architects of the Iraq War, which Trump slammed on the campaign trail, is now being enlisted as an emissary for a man Trump wants to help steer his ship of state.

Rick Dearborn, the executive director of the Trump transition and a Senate veteran who served as chief of staff to Alabama senator Jeff Sessions for over a decade, is looking to leverage Cheney’s influence with key GOP senators, according to a transition aide.