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
|2017.06.27||The White House issued a statement Monday evening threatening to exact "a heavy price" in response to a potential chemical attack by the Syrian government, but senior national security officials were caught off guard and had no idea a statement was coming that threatened military action - a major step. nbcnews.com (See also Administration Errors, Syria, Department of State, Nikki Haley)|
|2017.07.09||Trump floated, then seemingly disavowed, a deal for greater cybersecurity with Russia - an idea that drew dismay and mockery from lawmakers of both parties, and which analysts warned could make the US less secure. politico.com (See also Administration Errors, Russian Meddling in Election)|
|2017.08.02||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation. politico.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Department of State)|
|2017.08.06||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has failed to nominate anyone to most of the department’s 38 highest-ranking jobs, leaving many critical departments without direction or a coherent foreign policy. nytimes.com (See also Assaults on Government, Department of State)|
|2017.10.01||Donald Trump undercut his own secretary of state, calling his effort to open lines of communication with North Korea a waste of time, and seeming to rule out a diplomatic resolution to the nuclear-edged confrontation with Pyongyang, just a day after Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson said he was reaching out in hopes of starting a new dialogue. nytimes.com (See also Department of State, North Korea, Unpresidential Behavior, Nuclear Weapons)|
|2017.10.04||Republican Senator Bob Corker told reporters he thinks "Secretary Tillerson, Secretary Mattis, and Chief of Staff Kelly are those people that help separate our country from chaos." axios.com (See also James Mattis, John Kelly)|
|2017.10.04||Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was on the verge of resigning this past summer amid mounting policy disputes and clashes with the White House, openly disparaging Donald Trump, referring to him as a "moron." nbcnews.com (See also Department of State)|
|2017.10.08||Senator Bob Corker, the Republican chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, charged in an interview on Sunday that President Trump was treating his office like “a reality show,” with reckless threats toward other countries that could set the nation “on the path to World War III.” nytimes.com (See also Unpresidential Behavior, North Korea, Iran, False Statements, James Mattis, John Kelly)|
|2017.10.11||Donald Trump on Wednesday threatened NBC over a news report he called "pure fiction," and he lashed out at the news media, threatening NBC's broadcast license. washingtonpost.com (See also Assaults on Civil Liberties, Unpresidential Behavior)|
|2017.10.11||Donald Trump said he wanted what amounted to a nearly tenfold increase in the U.S. nuclear arsenal during a gathering this past summer of the nation’s highest-ranking national security leaders, leading to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson calling him a "moron." nbcnews.com (See also Foreign Policy, Department of State, Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, Mike Pence, Steven Mnuchin)|
|2017.10.26||The Trump administration is not putting the legal Russia sanctions in place, as it is also revealed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has eliminated the office responsible for coordinating and enforcing those sanctions. foreignpolicy.com (See also Russia, Trump Relationship with Russia, Department of State, Assaults on Government, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.11.08||New data shows how the Trump administration is destroying the State Department, where 60% of its top management has quit, and new applicants have dropped by half. vox.com (See also Department of State, Assaults on Government, Foreign Policy)|
|2017.11.24||A State Department exodus marks a new stage in the broken and increasingly contentious relationship between Rex W. Tillerson and much of his work force. nytimes.com (See also Department of State, Unprecedented Actions)|
|2017.11.30||The White House has developed a plan to force out Secretary of State Rex W. Tillerson, whose relationship with Donald Trump has been strained, and replace him with Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, perhaps within the next several weeks. nytimes.com (See also Department of State, Mike Pompeo, Trump Cabinet)|
A transition plan would install Mike Pompeo, the C.I.A. director, as secretary of state, and tap Senator Tom Cotton to lead the spy agency.
|2017.12.08||Deputy national security adviser Dina Powell plans to leave the White House as part of an anticipated wave of departures following President Trump’s first year in office. washingtonpost.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, Foreign Policy, H.R. McMaster)|
|2017.12.09||An award-winning U.S. diplomat who was seen as a rising star at the State Department has issued a scathing resignation letter, accusing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and the Donald Trump administration of undercutting the State Department and damaging America’s influence in the world. foreignpolicy.com (See also Foreign Policy, Department of State)|
|2017.12.11||Despite the deaths of as many as half a million people in the Syrian civil war, the Trump Administration is now prepared to accept President Bashar al-Assad’s continued rule until Syria’s next scheduled Presidential election, in 2021, reversingrepeated U.S. statements that Assad must step down as part of a peace process. newyorker.com (See also Russia, Syria, Reversals, Foreign Policy, Iran)|
|2017.12.23||According to six officials, Donald Trump said to his advisers in the Oval Office that 15,000 visitors from Haiti "all have AIDS" and that once the 40,000 visitors from Nigera see the United States, they would never "go back to their huts" in Africa. nytimes.com (See also Racism, Belief in Conspiracy Theories, Immigration, John Kelly, Stephen Miller, Nationalism)|
|2018.02.02||As senior career diplomat, Tom Shannon, announced plans to leave the State Department, seven of the top nine jobs at the department will be empty. bloomberg.com (See also Department of State, Assaults on Government)|
|2018.02.21||State Department officials have been ordered to pare back passages in a soon-to-be-released annual report on global human rights that traditionally discuss women’s reproductive rights and discrimination, stripping passages that describe views on family planning, contraceptives, abortion, as well as racial, ethnic, and sexual discrimination. politico.com (See also Department of State, Women)|
The move reflects the Tillerson-Trump view of human rights as a low priority in foreign policy.
|2018.03.05||As Russia’s virtual war against the United States continues unabated with the midterm elections approaching, the State Department has yet to spend any of the $120 million it has been allocated since late 2016 to counter foreign efforts to meddle in elections or sow distrust in democracy. nytimes.com (See also Russian Meddling in Election, Trump Relationship with Russia, Department of State)|
As a result, not one of the 23 analysts working in the department’s Global Engagement Center — which has been tasked with countering Moscow’s disinformation campaign — speaks Russian, and a department hiring freeze has hindered efforts to recruit the computer experts needed to track the Russian efforts.
|2018.03.05||Russia advised Donald Trump to pick someone other than Mitt Romney for Secretary of State, who would ease sanctions against Moscow for its actions in Ukraine. newyorker.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russian Meddling in Election, Department of State, Corruption)|
|2018.03.13||Donald Trump has fired Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and plans to nominate CIA Director Mike Pompeo to replace him as the nation’s top diplomat, orchestrating a major change to his national security team amid delicate outreach such as possible talks with North Korea. washingtonpost.com (See also Resignations and Dismissals, Department of State, North Korea, Mike Pompeo)|
|2018.03.13||Hours before being ousted as secretary of state, Rex Tillerson called the poisoning of an ex-Russian spy and his daughter with a military-grade nerve agent in the U.K. “a really egregious act” that appears to have “clearly” come from Russia. nbcnews.com (See also Trump Relationship with Russia, Russia, Department of State, Resignations and Dismissals)|
“It's almost beyond comprehension that a state, an organized state would do something like that,” Rex Tillerson said on a trip to Africa, hours before being fired.
|2018.03.16||White House chief of staff John Kelly decided to share the story of a conversation with Rex Tillerson that Donald Trump would very soon fire him, while Tillerson was using the toilet, due to a food poisoning stomach bug. thedailybeast.com (See also John Kelly, Department of State, unp, Unpresidential Behavior)|
- 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