Former ExxonMobil CEO and comic book villain Rex Tillerson has been confirmed as Secretary of State.
The Senate has approved former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as the next secretary of state, filling one more slot on President Donald Trump’s national security team despite questions about his approach to Russia and state sponsors of terror, such as Iran.
To commemorate the event, I made a brand new State Department seal that better reflects their new boss’s point of view.
The Senate voted 56 to 43, with all Republican in support and most Democrats voting against him. Three Democratic senators split with their party to back Tillerson: Joe Manchin of West Virginia, Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota and Mark Warner of Virginia. They were joined by Independent Sen. Angus King of Maine, who caucuses with Democrats.
…snip…The 64-year-old Texan had a shaky confirmation hearing before Corker’s committee in January, generating frustration among Democrats and Republicans alike after he dodged a series of questions. He wouldn’t agree when asked if Russia’s Vladimir Putin — who has given Tillerson Russia’s highest civilian honor for his work there as an oil man — is a war criminal. Tillerson also avoided condemning human rights abuses in China, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines. And he sidestepped a direct answer about whether humans cause climate change.Democrats also raised concerns about how long Tillerson would recuse himself from decisions that could affect ExxonMobil once he became the top US diplomat.…snip…“We have reason to fear that Mr. Tillerson would run the State Department like he ran Exxon, where he repeatedly worked against US national interests,” [Senator Chris] Coons [(D-CT), who voted against Tillerson’s confirmation,] said Tuesday.…snip…
Sen. Diane Feinstein, a California Democrat, said she voted against Tillerson because he claimed not to know about Exxon’s history of lobbying Congress in opposition to sanctions on Iran and Russia. She cited public documents that show Exxon established a joint venture with Shell called Infineum. That venture’s purpose was to conduct business with Iran, Sudan and Syria, all considered by the US to be state sponsors of terror and under US sanctions.“During that time, Mr. Tillerson rose from senior vice president to president and director, and eventually to chairman and CEO of Exxon,” Feinstein said. “Yet, during his testimony, Mr. Tillerson claimed to be unaware of Infineum’s purposeful evasion of sanctions.”