If it’s up to President-Elect Donald Trump, your next Secretary of State.
For those who follow politics rather closely, it feels as if Donald Trump’s Secretary of State search has gone on for quite some time. So much so, this awkward photo seems like a lifetime ago!
On Tuesday, Trump finally named his pick for Secretary of State and it’s… Rex Tillerson.
So who is Rex Tillerson? Well, let’s find out!
So who the hell is Rex Tillerson?
Rex Tillerson is the longtime CEO of ExxonMobil. He originally joined the oil company back in 1975 as a production engineer and moved up the corporate ladder. Much like Donald Trump himself, his background primarily lies in business.
What makes him qualified to be the US’ Secretary of State?
In terms of foreign policy, much like some of Trump’s other cabinet picks, he has zero policy experience. To be fair, Tillerson is however on the board of trustees for the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a prominent Washington think tank that promotes “American prosperity and prominence” around the world. But in terms of creating relationships internationally, as CEO of ExxonMobil, he has created partnerships with multiple countries through various business interests. Yet these international business ties are also the biggest point of controversy when it comes to Tillerson’s nomination.
How and why are Tillerson’s business ties so controversial?
The one that has been getting the most traction in the news cycle has been his close ties with Russia, specifically his close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Due to ExxonMobil’s oil interests in Russia, Tillerson has worked closely with Putin, specifically penning a deal back in 2011 in which he helped broker between Russia and ExxonMobil that allowed for drilling in the Arctic. Later in 2013, Tillerson was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin – one of Russia’s highest honors given to foreigners – for his help in developing the Russian energy sector.
So he’s close with Russia, what’s the big deal?
Considering the CIA, along with a multitude of other intelligence agencies, have concluded that Russian hackers influenced the 2016 US presidential election by trying to get Donald Trump elected president and now Trump is picking Tillerson – an American that has ridiculously close ties with Putin – as his Secretary of State; you can see here why people are very worried about the nomination!
Please, what’s the worse that can happen?!?
Other than the US potentially lifting the Russian sanctions, which then emboldens Russia to go deeper into Ukraine which then scares the Baltic States into siding with Russia on international affairs, which in turn delegitimizes NATO to its allies, thus DESTABILIZING THE CURRENT WORLD ORDER (!!!)… except for that, not much.
If Tillerson’s nomination is so controversial, wouldn’t Congress just block it?
Not necessarily. Tillerson is a loyal big money donor to the Republican Party and considering the GOP has the majorities in both the House and Senate, it’s unlikely he’ll get blocked. Not to mention, major Republicans like Robert Gates and former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice have vouched for Tillerson as well. With that said, there are a few Republicans that have voiced concerns over Tillerson, like Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, but it’s hard to say if they’ll put up any real fight against the nomination.
If you guys were compulsive gamblers, what would be Tillerson’s chances of becoming our next Secretary of State?
We’d say pretty good! Unless there’s a huge push-back against Tillerson from Congress that aren’t Democrats, you’ll see a lot of tough talk, but little action. When it’s all said and done, his nomination should push through.
(Photo Credit: Wikipedia, Google Images)