Trump is doing all he can to take his relationship with Vladmir Putin to the next level. As reported by the New York Times, Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobile C.E.O. and Vladmir Putin’s favorite American, is Trump’s pick to become secretary of state.
As previously reported by Restore Progress, Tillerson has long and disturbing ties with Russia that appear to create very serious conflicts of interest. Exxon Mobile, Tillerson’s employer since the 1970’s, has billions of dollars invested in Russian oil production and exploration. Many fear that these investments will cloud Tillerson’s allegiances, and will incentivize Tillerson to choose Exxon profits over American interests. Reports the New York Times:
“[Exxon Mobile] has billions of dollars in oil contracts that can go forward only if the United States lifts sanctions against Russia, and Mr. Tillerson’s stake in Russia’s energy industry could create a very blurry line between his interests as an oilman and his role as America’s leading diplomat.”
Tillerson’s nomination has alarmed members of Congress on both sides of the aisle, including republican senators John McCain, Lindsey Graham, and Marco Rubio.
Whether democrats and responsible republicans have the courage to fight the nomination remains to be seen.