Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Tuesday that Russia must choose between aligning itself with the United States and other Western nations or Syrian President Bashar Assad, Iran and the militant group Hezbollah.Tillerson spoke in the walled city of Lucca in Italy where he was attending a meeting of foreign ministers from the Group of Seven industrialized nations.The U.S. blames Assad for last week's chemical attack in Syria that killed at least 86 people, including 27 children, and prompted President Trump to order a missile strike against a Syrian air base in retaliation.“We cannot let this happen again," Tillerson said of the April 4 chemical attack.Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Russia will appeal to the United Nations to investigate the chemical attack. He said Russia received intelligence about planned “provocations” using chemical weapons that would blame the Syrian … [Read more...] about Tillerson: Russia must choose between Assad and U.S.
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The U.S. Treasury Department fined oil giant Exxon Mobil $2 million on Thursday for alleged violations of Russian sanctions while President Trump's secretary of State was serving as the company's CEO.Although financially insignificant for a global company, the fine reflects another thorny development for the Trump administration as it seeks to downplay its political entanglement with Russia, which is accused of using a hacking campaign to help Trump get elected.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was CEO of Exxon when the company "demonstrated reckless disregard for U.S. sanctions" on Russia's involvement in Ukraine, Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) said in a civil penalty document.The company signed eight documents in May 2014 for energy deals with Russian oil giant Rosneft's president, Igor Sechin, who was subject to sanctions at the time, according to the enforcement action. Exxon said it "followed the clear guidance" from the Obama administration that it was … [Read more...] about Treasury fines Exxon $2M for ‘reckless disregard’ of Russia sanctions under Rex Tillerson
Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump's nominee to be secretary of State, was questioned at his confirmation hearing Thursday by the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Here are four take-aways from what he said.Saying the United States "must be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia,” Tillerson said, "Russia today poses a danger. It invaded Ukraine, including Crimea, and violated the laws of war.”Tillerson said he would advise giving Ukraine weapons to defend its territory, because Russia’s invasion of Crimea “was a taking of territory that was not theirs.” Resolving the conflict between Russia and Ukraine has to be negotiated between the two countries. “I don’t think that’s up to us to decide,” he said.Tillerson said Russia and the United States are unlikely to be friends, and that current conflicts — including Ukraine, Syria and efforts to influence the U.S. … [Read more...] about 4 take-aways from Rex Tillerson hearing to be secretary of State
NEW YORK — President-elect Donald Trump is zeroing in on ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of State nominee.Tillerson had his second interview with the president-elect Saturday at Trump Tower and has emerged as the favorite in the long-running competition to lead the State Department, a person familiar with the transition deliberations told USA TODAY on condition of anonymity because Trump has yet to announce his pick."In his case, he's much more than a business executive," Trump said in an interview to be broadcast on Fox News Sunday. "I mean, he's a world-class player."In the excerpt released by Fox News on Saturday, Trump stopped short of confirming Tillerson as his pick, but praised the 64-year-old executive."He's in charge of an oil company that's pretty much double the size of his next nearest competitor. It’s been a company that's been unbelievably managed," he said. "To me a big advantage is that he knows many the players, and he … [Read more...] about Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson emerges as State Department frontrunner
After more than a month of speculation, President-elect Donald Trump has selected ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of State nominee and will make the announcement on Tuesday.A person familiar with the selection confirmed, speaking on condition of anonymity pending Trump's announcement."I will be making my announcement on the next Secretary of State tomorrow morning," Trump tweeted Monday night.Democrats and some Republicans have raised questions about Tillerson's business ties to Russia, though Trump has described the 64-year-old oil industry executive as a major player on the world stage.Trump told Fox News Sunday that Tillerson is "much more than a business executive.""I mean, he's a world-class player," said Trump. "He's in charge of, I guess the largest company in the world. He's in charge of an oil company that's pretty much double the size of his next serious competitor. "Trump also told Fox that "a great advantage is he knows many of the players, and he knows … [Read more...] about Trump to nominate ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for secretary of State
President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State has one fatal flaw — he sees the world through a prism of oil. For Rex Tillerson, who has spent his entire career at ExxonMobil, this means his strengths as a negotiator of the next big oil deal are equally his greatest weaknesses.A secretary of State is not just the kind of seal-the-deal person that Trump so deeply admires. He must also be an advocate for a whole host of issues that American democracy holds dear.As it happens, the world’s most prized oil resources lie largely beneath lands, or seas, controlled by some of the world’s most pernicious dictators. These are often utterly corrupt leaders whose respect for human rights, minorities, dissent, the press and the ballot box are the most open to question.To earn the gilded Order of Friendship medal that Russian President Vladimir Putin pinned onto Tillerson's chest, the ExxonMobil CEO led a complex and ultimately successful bid for … [Read more...] about Rex Tillerson’s oily despots: David Andelman
Donald Trump's nomination of Rex Tillerson to be secretary of State sets up a confirmation battle over the ExxonMobil CEO's business ties to Russia, a fight that could include pushback from some Senate Republicans.While Democrats and some GOP members raised questions about Tillerson's relationship with Russia — which is accused of interference in the recent presidential election — Trump praised his fellow businessman Tuesday as "a world class player" who has led one of the world's largest corporations."His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State," Trump said in a statement formally announcing the nomination.In his new role at the State Department, Trump said Tillerson would "promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States. Rex knows how to manage a global enterprise, which is crucial to running a successful State … [Read more...] about Secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson’s ties to Russia worry GOP, too
On Tuesday, Donald Trump announced that he had selected Rex Tillerson, chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil, for secretary of State, one of the most influential Cabinet roles. If confirmed, Tillerson will be charged with leading the State Department and overseeing U.S. foreign policy. But who is this oil executive and what should you know before the confirmation hearing?Tillerson has worked for Exxon since 1975. He started as a production engineer and moved up the ranks before becoming chairman and CEO in 2006. Tillerson has been conducting deals with countries all around the world. His experience negotiating with foreign governments — including governments hostile to the United States — was one of the reasons Trump selected him.“The thing I like best about Rex Tillerson is that he has vast experience at dealing successfully with all types of foreign governments,” Trump tweeted after announcing Tillerson’s appointment.Tillerson has strong ties with … [Read more...] about Who is Rex Tillerson, Trump’s secretary of State pick?
The Senate confirmed former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as secretary of State on Wednesday, even as Democrats blocked progress on other Cabinet nominees chosen by President Trump.Three Democrats and one Independent who generally votes with the Democrats joined a solid rank of Republicans in approving Tillerson 56-43.The vote puts a man who has negotiated business deals with countries around the world, including some hostile to the United States, in position to negotiate on behalf of Trump in matters of war and peace, climate change and human rights.Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, praised Tillerson before Wednesday’s vote.“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.”Tillerson's first task may be to calm a State Department where nearly 1,000 diplomats signed a letter of dissent objecting to Trump's executive … [Read more...] about Senate confirms Rex Tillerson for secretary of State
Defending his boss recently against charges that he’s heading up an incredible shrinking State Department, strategic adviser R.C. Hammond opined that the Secretary Rex Tillerson is thinking like a cowboy. Comparing words to bullets, he said “You carry a revolver with only six shots, and you don’t waste your bullets.”Fair enough. Successful secretaries of State husband their resources and invest in issues that are strategic and strike at the right time. But five months in, and based on our long tenures at the State Department under both Republican and Democratic administrations, it seems pretty clear that at least in five cases, Tillerson’s gun jammed or the rounds he fired went wide of their mark. Presumably he has yet to use the sixth bullet — a frank conversation with the president about his presumed aspirations to be a consequential secretary of State. Will he?Tillerson reportedly is at the boiling point over everything from leaks to … [Read more...] about The incredible shrinking Rex Tillerson: Can the secretary of State reclaim his job?