Tillerson, Putin Bromance: How Trump’s Secretary of State Nominee is Problematic



Samuel Kim, Staff Reporter

On December 13th, 2016, Donald Trump nominated Rex Tillerson (Exxon Mobil’s CEO) to become the next Secretary of State. In a statement released by the Trump transition team, Donald Trump said that, “His [Tillerson’s] tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State.” To his credit, Donald Trump selected a reasonable candidate for Secretary of State. Although Tillerson has no foreign policy experience, he has forged relationships with many world leaders across the globe. His business deals have afforded him the chance to meet world leaders like Russia’s president, Vladimir Putin. Furthermore, Tillerson has the same view of the world as Donald Trump, something that Dr. Rand Paul, U.S. senator from Kentucky, has stressed multiple times. Even though he is a CEO of one of the world’s largest oil companies, Tillerson believes in global warming, a shocker for many conservatives.

Despite all of the good things that Tillerson has to offer, there is some controversy surrounding the Trump’s nominee for chief diplomat. First of all, Tillerson has close ties to Russia. One of Tillerson’s projects, with Rosneft (a Russian oil company), has received wide news coverage. Rex Tillerson also received an “Order of Friendship” from Vladimir Putin, something that “Russia-hawk” senators John McCain and Marco Rubio are concerned about. If Tillerson were to follow Trump’s views on Russia, and lift Russian sanctions, his firm and company could benefit greatly.

In conclusion, Trump’s nominee is a reflection of his many cabinet picks. Most of them have no political experience, but they do have experience in the private sector that will help them a lot. For Trump, his cabinet picks may represent a fresh new start for Washington: to bring America into a new golden age.