Rex Tillerson is Trump's Secretary of the Department of State.
Rex Wayne Tillerson, born March 23, 1952. Married with four children Source: ABCNews
- Son of a professional Boy Scout leader in Wichita Falls, Texas Source: NYTimes & NPR & WSJ
- Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering from University of Texas at Austin Source: NYTimes & NPR & WSJ
- Joined Exxon on graduation in 1975 and worked his way up. Source: NYTimes & NPR
- Has overseen ExxonMobil's holdings in Russia since 1990's Source: ABCNews
- Brought Igor Sechin, Putin's friend, confidante, and former KGB agent, to United States in April 2012 Source: NYTimes & NPR On 04/28/2016 Sechin named target of US Sanctions Source: US Department of Treasury
- member of U.S.-Russia Business council Source: NYTimes
- Exxon and Rosneft? a $500 billion joint venture in 2011 to drill for oil on the Arctic shelf and the Black Sea and another huge deal to develop shale oil deposits in Siberia. Those projects were shelved in 2014, after the West imposed sanctions on Russia for Mr. Putin’s actions in Crimea and Ukraine. Source: NYTimes & The Wall Street Journal
- The Russian government gave him the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2012 Source: NYTimes & ExxonMobil & The Wall Street Journal
- According to company filings this year, Mr. Tillerson owned $218 million in Exxon Mobil company stock, and his pension plan was worth nearly $70 million. Source: NYTimes His 2.6 million shares of Exxon = $228 million value in early December Source: Bloomberg
- expected to encourage the permitting of the Keystone XL Pipeline and to try to smooth relationships with Mexico City due to Mexico's growing natural gas market. Source: NYtimes
- some energy experts believe he may encourage Trump to support Paris Climate Agreement with emphasis on natural gas and ways to bury carbon waste. Source: NYtimes & Time
- Last year, he was paid a base salary of $3,047,000, with $2,386,000 in a cash bonus and $18,288,000 in stock. Source: CBSNews & Tillerson was paid $27.3 million in salary, bonus, stock awards and other compensation in 2015 Source: Bloomberg
- He faces mandatory retirement next year, when he reaches his 65th birthday Source: CBSNews & WSJ
- Tillerson holds 2 million unvested ExxonMobil stocks, that can not be sold and the last of which only fully vests in 2026. Source: CBSNews & WSJ
- As CEO of ExxonMobil (since 2006), Tillerson is on Forbes' most powerful people list (No. 20 in 2015 and No. 24 in 2016). Source: Forbes
- Leaked documents on 12/18/2016 reveal Tillerson is director of US-Russian oil company based in the Bahamas. Source: CommonDreams.org
- According to Federal Election Commission filings, he donated $50,000 to Mitt Romney's presidential victory fund in 2012 and gave $5,000 to Right to Rise, a super PAC backing Jeb Bush, in August 2015. But his FEC records do not show any donations to Trump during the 2016 campaign. Source: ABCNews
Republican Senators with concerns about his nomination
From The Washington Post
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.): "The one obvious red flag for Tillerson is Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who is also a member of Foreign Relations, where only one Republican vote would endanger the nomination. Rubio expressed “serious concerns” and vowed to ensure a “thorough” vetting of the nominee on the committee.
'The next secretary of state must be someone who views the world with moral clarity, is free of potential conflicts of interest, has a clear sense of America’s interests,' Rubio said."
From The Washington Post
Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) echoed Rubio’s call that Tillerson’s views be “closely examined,” such as his relations with China and Russia and views on Middle East tensions.
From The Washington Post
Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), who wants a bipartisan investigation of Russian influence on the U.S. elections, said he expects “U.S.-Russia relations to be front-and-center in his confirmation process.”
From The Hill
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) “I don’t know what Mr. Tillerson’s relationship with Vladimir Putin was, but I’ll tell you it is a matter of concern to me,”
- ExxonMobil is planning to resume operations in Russia after sanctions are lifted. Reuters
- "The August 2011, OAO NK Rosneft and ExxonMobil concluded a strategic cooperation agreement to establish the framework for joint oil exploration and production in Russia, the United States and other countries. Since the signing of the strategic cooperation agreement, Rosneft and ExxonMobil have formed 10 joint ventures for projects in the Russian Arctic, the Black Sea and western Siberia." Exxon Mobil business in Russia from Exxon Mobil site
- ExxonMobil under investigation for climate change fraud. The New York Times & The Guardian & LATimes
- Trump owned ExxonMobil stock. His 2015 financial disclosure filing lists $50,000 to $100,000 worth of assets in ExxonMobil. ABCNews
|2015.02.15||Jared Kushner’s family says it won’t buy Marlins if Jeffrey Loria, a major donor to Trump's campaign, becomes ambassador to France. washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, First 100 Days, Jared Kushner, Reince Priebus)|
|2016.12.13||Human Rights Campaign changes ExxonMobil grade on gay rights support from 14% to 0% after Tillerson becomes chief executive. money.cnn.com (See also LGBTQIA)|
|2016.12.13||Tillerson visited the White House repeatedly to make sure ExxonMobil's competitors didn't gain an edge in the way Russia sanctions were enforced. bloomberg.com (See also Russia, Conflicts of Interest, Department of State)|
|2016.12.13||What is the Russian Order of Friendship and why does Rex Tillerson have one? washingtonpost.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Russia, Department of State)|
|2016.12.14||Billions of dollars are at stake for ExxonMobil in one of Trump's biggest foreign policy decisions in the next few years and Tillerson's ties to Russia and oil are potentially huge conflicts of interest. vox.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Russia, Department of State)|
|2016.12.23||Democrats on Capitol Hill press for access to tax returns from Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s Secretary of State nominee. wsj.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Department of State)|
|2017.01.10||Tillerson calls intelligence findings on Russian election interference "troubling". washingtonpost.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election)|
|2017.01.11||In a confirmation hearing, Tillerson expresses views at odds with President-elect Donald Trump's positions on key foreign policy issues like nuclear proliferation, trade deals, climate change and relations with Mexico. reuters.com (See also Climate Change, Mexico)|
|2017.01.11||Rex Tillerson resists effort from Democrats to get him to commit to hand over his tax returns before he is confirmed, asking senators to respect his privacy. washingtonpost.com|
|2017.01.11||Rex Tillerson's controversial foreign ties are likely to be a focus of his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. theatlantic.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Department of State)|
|2017.01.11||Senator Rubio does not commit to voting for Tillerson, and questions him vigorously on Russia's role in Syria, and human rights violations in China and Saudi Arabia. nytimes.com|
|2017.01.11||Tillerson denies knowledge of Exxon lobbying against Russia sanctions. theguardian.com (See also Climate Change, Russia)|
Democrats produce lobbying disclosure records that showed they did.
|2017.01.11||Tillerson, in a confirmation hearing, says that climate change is real, but its future impact is hard to predict. fortune.com (See also Climate Change)|
|2017.01.12||Tillerson says China should be barred from Chinese-built artificial islands in the South China Sea, increasing the potential for a clash with Beijing. theguardian.com (See also China)|
|2017.01.17||Rebecca Leber: Tillerson only intends to stay away from State decisions benefiting Exxon for one year. twitter.com (See also Conflicts of Interest, Trump Cabinet)|
|2017.01.23||Mike Pompeo is confirmed to lead C.I.A., as Rex Tillerson advances out of committee to face full senate vote next week. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Mike Pompeo)|
|2017.01.23||Rubio's decision to vote for Tillerson as Secretary of State ends threat to his confirmation. mobile.nytimes.com|
|2017.01.25||Multiple senior officers resign their posts with the State Department as U.S. s diplomats express private concerns about foreign policy under Trump. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of State, Foreign Policy)|
A handful of senior U.S. diplomats are resigning their posts during President Donald Trump’s first week on the job, creating more high-level openings that the new president must fill.
|2017.01.26||The State Department’s entire senior administrative team, all career foreign service officers who've served under both Republican and Democratic administrations, just resigned. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of State)|
|2017.01.26||The US State Department's four top management members resign. independent.co.uk (See also Department of State)|
|2017.01.26||The entire State department management team was fired by Trump administration, despite earlier reports that they'd resigned. talkingpointsmemo.com (See also Department of State)|
|2017.01.29||Trump's state department purge has left a gaping hole at the heart of US diplomacy sparking worries of 'know-nothing approach' to foreign policy theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of State)|
|2017.02.01||Rex Tillerson is confirmed as Secretary of State in a 56-to-43 vote, an opposition record. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Department of State, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.02.01||Senate confirms oil industry executive and friend of Russia Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State in 56-to-43 vote. washingtonpost.com (See also Russia, Russian Meddling in Election, Department of State)|
|2017.02.03||Will Eric Schneiderman, New York's Attorney General, take down Trump? politico.com (See also Lawsuits, Trump University, Scott Pruitt, Steven Mnuchin, Jared Kushner)|
|2017.02.04||Using a rarely invoked law that gives Congress the power to reverse regulations within 60 legislative days with a simple majority, the Republican-controlled Congress nullifies a measure intended to curb the venting of gas wells on federal lands, and begins rolling back other regulations, including one enacted to limit damage that coal mines cause to streams. nytimes.com (See also First 100 Days, Energy, Environment, Conflicts of Interest)|
|2017.02.16||New U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson meets Russian counterpart at meeting on G20 foreign ministers summit in first high level contact between Russia and Washington since the inauguration. theguardian.com (See also Department of State, Russia)|
|2017.02.16||U.S. Ambassador to U.N. Nikki Haley says U.S. upholds longstanding policy on Israeli-Palestine conflict, contradicting Trump's position on two-state solution. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days, Nikki Haley, Israel)|
|2017.02.17||State Dept. lays off most of the career diplomats who serve as conduits between the Secretary's office and country bureaus in a move that many view as a sign that key foreign policy portfolios will be controlled directly by the White House. cbsnews.com (See also Foreign Policy, Department of State)|
|2017.02.22||Rex W. Tillerson arrives in Mexico with twin threats hanging over the frayed relationship between the two nations: Trump’s new orders to round up and deport immigrants who are in the United States illegally, and a separate effort to examine American aid to Mexico for possible use in paying for a border wall. nytimes.com (See also Department of State, First 100 Days, Mexico, Mexico Wall, Immigration)|
|2017.02.24||Mexican Interior Secretary does not mince words when speaking alongside Rex Tillerson and John Kelly in Mexico City Thursday, saying: "We do not agree on the different measures that recently were stated by the government of the United States (that) affect Mexico." cnn.com (See also First 100 Days, John Kelly, Department of State, Department of Homeland Security, Mexico)|
|2017.02.24||The Trump administration has largely benched the State Department from its long-standing role as the preeminent voice of U.S. foreign policy, curtailing public engagement, daily briefings, and official travel and keeping Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in a mostly offstage role. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of State, First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.03||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson skips the State Department's release of its annual report on human rights. cnn.com (See also Department of State, First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.10||Secretary of State is normally the most important position in the cabinet, but Rex Tillerson has had little impact on the Trump administration so far due to a lack of power coming from any of the five typical sources: backing from the president, advice and support from his or her department’s career officials, admiration from and alliances with other leaders in the government, praise from the press and public, and positive evaluations of his or her competence and power by foreign diplomats. foreignpolicy.com (See also Department of State)|
|2017.03.14||NY Attorney General accuses Secretary of State Rex Tillerson of using the pseudonym "Wayne Tracker" to send emails related to climate change while serving as CEO of Exxon Mobil. money.cnn.com (See also Department of State, Environment, Climate Change)|
|2017.03.14||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is revealed to have used a fake name ‘Wayne Tracker’ to discuss climate change while Exxon Mobil CEO. independent.co.uk (See also Climate Change)|
Court filing comes in legal dispute in which Exxon seeks to derail probes into whether the company misled investors for years about the possible impact of global warming on its business
|2017.03.14||Tillerson threatens to have the U.S leave the U.N Human Rights Council. foreignpolicy.com (See also Foreign Policy, First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.15||In a letter to several major nonprofits dated March 8, 2017, U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the United States will not continue participating in the Human Rights Council unless the U.N. rights agency undergoes "considerable reform." bigstory.ap.org (See also United Nations)|
|2017.03.17||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said pre-emptive military action was "on the table" if the threat from the North's weapons program reached a level requiring it. bbc.com (See also North Korea)|
|2017.03.22||Exxon says they have lost a years worth of Rex Tillerson's emails. chicagotribune.com (See also First 100 Days, Hypocrisy)|
|2017.03.22||Rex Tillerson says he didn't want the job as Secretary of State but his wife told him he was supposed to take it. theguardian.com (See also First 100 Days)|
|2017.03.29||Rex Tillerson notifies Congress and The State Department he intends to waive human rights conditions attached to the sale of fighter jets to Bahrain. cnn.com (See also Department of State)|
|2017.03.30||Nikki Haley and Rex Tillerson say the U.S. diplomatic policy on Syria is no longer focused on making the war-torn country's president, Bashar al-Assad, leave power. This puts the Trump administration at odds with European powers. reuters.com (See also United Nations, Syria, Nikki Haley)|
|2017.06.05||When Trump addressed NATO leaders during his debut overseas, he surprised and disappointed his own top national security officials by failing to reaffirm the Article 5 provision in his speech. politico.com (See also Foreign Policy, James Mattis, H.R. McMaster)|
|2017.06.17||In the feud among nations in the Persian Gulf, Trump has supported those with which he does business, criticizing Qatar, differing sharply from the positions of the Pentagon and State Department. nytimes.com (See also Corruption, Conflicts of Interest, Saudi Arabia, Foreign Policy, Department of State)|
|2017.06.17||The White House plans to work with House Republicans on administration-friendly changes to the Senate’s overwhelmingly bipartisan bill (98-2) that slaps new sanctions on Russia and curbs Trump’s power to ease penalties against Moscow. politico.com (See also Russia, Russian Meddling in Election, Department of State)|
|2017.06.19||Dozens of young minority and female State Department recruits received startling news that they would not be able to soon join the Foreign Service despite having been promised that opportunity. washingtonpost.com (See also Department of State)|
- 04/19/2016 ExxonMobil plans to return to Russian Arctic once sanctions are lifted. (Reuters)
- 12/10/2016Tillerson is expected to be Secretary of State pick. (New York Times)
- 12/10/2016 Tillerson is top Secretary of State candidate. (The Wall St. Journal)
- 12/10/2016 Eight reasons why Tillerson could succeed as Secretary of State. (Forbes)
- 12/10/2016 Trump picks Exxon CEO Tillerson for secretary of State (The Hill)
- 12/11/2016 Marco Rubio tweets "Being a "friend of Vladimir" is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState - MR"
- 12/11/2016 Tillerson, an Aggressive Dealmaker Whose Ties With Russia May Prompt Scrutiny (The New York Times)
- 12/12/2016 Trump's picks Exxon Mobil's Tillerson for Secretary of State (Bloomberg)
- 12/12/2016 Washington Post's Philip Rucker tweeted: Condi Rice became a strong advocate for Tillerson in repeated talks with Trump. Latest today by phone as Trump made final decision." and "Other Tillerson boosters, in addition to Gates & Rice: Stephen Hadley, Jim Baker & Dick Cheney. Full court press planned for confirmation."
- 12/12/2016 In ExxonMobil's Rex Tillerson, Moscow Sees Trusted, Highly Regarded Figure (NPR)
- 12/12/2016 Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson will be Trump’s Secretary of State (PBS)
- 12/13/2016 What We Know About Rex Tillerson, Trump's Pick For Secretary Of State (NPR)
- 12/13/2016 Can Rex Tillerson's shift from corporate imperatives to national interests? (Slate)
- 12/13/2016 Rex Tillerson: Everything You Need to Know About Trump's Pick for Secretary of State (ABCNews)
- 12/13/2016 Trump picks ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson to be secretary of state. (The Washington Post)
- 12/13/2016 Tillerson: A pick that confirms Putin's win. (The Guardian)
- 12/13/2016 Tillerson supporters, Gates, Rice, and Baker, have Exxon ties of their own. (Media Matters)
- 12/14/2016 What Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State Would Mean for Climate Change (Time)
12/16/2016 All Rex Tillerson Cares about is Energy. But does that mean he's going to gut America’s $50 billion foreign aid budget? (The Council on Foreign Policy)
- 12/20/2016 How Tillerson came to understand that the key to success in Russia was through personal relationships with Putin and his friend and confidante, Igor Sechin head of Rosneft, the state oil company. (The New York Times)
- 12/20/2016 Terry Gross interviews Steve Coll, author of PRIVATE EMPIRE: ExxonMobil and American Power on how running ExxonMobil did (and didn't prepare) Tillerson for Secretary of State. (NPR)
- 12/20/2016 Why Rex Tillerson Has the GOP Foreign-Policy Establishment’s Support (The Wall Street Journal)
- 12/21/2016 Senate Democrats plan to run Trump playbook against Tillerson (Philly.com)
- 12/22/2016 Tillerson’s Special Friend in the Kremlin (The New York Times)
- 12/22/2016 Implications of Tillerson's 2 million unvested ExxonMobil stocks, that can not be sold and the last of which only fully vests in 2026. (CBSNews)
- 12/22/2016 Key members of Senate Foreign Relations Committee sparring over Democrats demand for Tillerson's tax returns. (The Hill)
- Economic sanctions on Russia in 2014 were particularly damaging to Exxon Mobil. NYTimes
- American Government makes it clear they don't want corporate heads attending Russia's premier business conference which Tillerson complied with until 2016, angering the American government. NYTimes
- Tillerson could expedite lifting Russian sanctions if confirmed.
- Exxon's plan to help Tillerson rid himself of stocks and defer his taxes may run afoul of the IRS (NYTimes)
Clifford Krauss — The New York Times
Krauss discusses the shift in foreign policy indicated by Trump's choice of Rex Tillerson:
David L. Goldwyn, the State Department’s top energy diplomat during the first Obama administration, commenting on Trump's choice: "He has definitely decided to do a reverse Nixon and side with Russia against China. He thinks we probably can make common cause with Russia in Syria but also in Libya, and he doesn’t have a problem supporting strongmen."
"Mr. Tillerson is not always easy to define. Deeply conservative and committed to the Boy Scouts of America, he quietly pushed the organization to be open to gay rights. But under his leadership, Exxon was slow to adopt explicit policies protecting gay employees from discrimination.
Terry Gross — Fresh Air on NPR
Gross interviews Steve Coll, author of PRIVATE EMPIRE: ExxonMobil and American Power:
"ExxonMobil is a very large corporation that really sees itself as an independent sovereign in the world. It has revenue the size of the economy of South Africa. It operates all over the world, negotiating with leaders on behalf of its shareholders. It's kind of a parallel quasi-state."
Fred Kaplan — Slate
Kaplan points out Tillerson's role in pushing the Boy Scouts of America to accept gays:
"Gates and Tillerson both supported the move to allow gays into the scouts."
Justin Worland — Time
Worland discusses the impact of Tillerson's appointment as Secretary of State on climate change:
"Tillerson, who first joined Exxon in 1975 upon graduating from college, accepts the scientific consensus that man-made climate change is occurring, but also has a vested financial interest in avoiding strong action to address global warming. The company he runs remains under investigation for misleading investors on the risks of climate change for decades to avoid harming its business."
Bill McKibben – The Guardian
On Jan. 11, 2017, McKibben examined what Tillerson's confirmation means:
"All in all, it’s hard to imagine a single hire that could do more damage to the planet (though the rest of Trump’s cabinet will doubtless give him a run for his money). Making this man secretary of state rewards climate denial, further warps our foreign policy towards oil and does it at the precise moment when every bit of data screams that we should be going in the opposite direction.
"The only consolation is that it removes all the window-dressing. Big Oil will run our foreign policy, right out in the open."
- Coll, Steve. Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power