The Senate confirmed former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of state today, with a 56-43 majority. This confirmation puts into our state department a man who has negotiated deals all around the world, including with the Russian government.
Senator John Cornyn (R-Texas) On Mr. Tillerson today
His experience and aptitude and talent will be put to work for the American people,” Cornyn said. “He’s a man of character who believes in putting his country first.
His first crisis may be to deal with the almost 1,000 diplomats who have signed a letter of dissent against President Trump’s executive order that temporarily suspends immigration from seven countries in the middle-east and suspends indefinitely refugees from Syria. Remember that we destroyed the middle east during the Iraq War. President Trump even said that the Iraq War destabilized the middle east.
Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) said the following about Mr. Tillerson.
Negotiating oil deals does not prepare you to be a diplomat advocating for American values.
He looked down on Mr. Tillerson, who is 64 because he did not know how to respond to questions about whether women suffer human rights violations in Saudi Arabia. During Mr. Tillerson’s time at ExxonMobil, he maintained ties with Saudi Arabia.
Senator Joe Donnelly (D-IN) said that he would vote against Mr. Tillerson because he did business with countries the U.S. has negative diplomatic relations with. These countries include Russia and Saudi Arabia.
Putting a company’s interest before American interest is inexcusable and a disqualifying characteristic for America’s next secretary of State
-Senator Joe Donnelly
ExxonMobil is the largest U.S. oil company, and as CEO Mr. Tillerson developed oil fields in the Artic Sea, Siberia, and the Black Sea in Russia. He was awarded Russia’s Order of Friendship award by Russian President Vladimir Putin in 2013.
“Right now when we’re trying to hold Russia accountable for its illegal aggression in eastern Europe, war crimes in Syria … how can we trust someone to represent our interests to someone with such a cozy relationship with Russia as Rex Tillerson?” Heinrich said.