Great news! Trump’s nominee for secretary of state is the CEO of ExxonMobil
Just in case you’re high and thought the Trump transition wasn’t all that weird, Trump nominated Rex Tillerson, ExxonMobil CEO, for secretary of state on Tuesday. Until this week, all I knew about Rex Tillerson was he has the most perfect name for a comic book villain. Because, basically, he is one. By nominating the CEO of ExxonMobil to head up the State Department, Trump is basically giving Americans the finger about all of this “make America great again” crap.
He’s really just giving his friends jobs to help them make money. It’s really that simple.
Hopefully Trump has a good backup plan, because Tillerson might have a tough time getting approved by the Senate. Even Republican senators have voiced concerns about Tillerson. If you forgot about this process, here’s your reminder that we’re going to have to go through confirmation hearings for Each. And. Every. unqualified person Trump nominates. It’s going to be a long winter.
Anyway, the most obvious conflict of interest that Tillerson has is his connection to Russia. Back in 2006, Tillerson was given the CEO gig at ExxonMobil because of his extensive experience working in Russia for ExxonMobil. He had managed the Russia account for years before taking over as CEO. Putin gave him a “Friendship Award” in 2013 (you really can’t make this shit up).
Then there are the billion dollar ExxonMobil oil contracts with Russia that are totally useless right now because of U.S. sanctions. Russia wants the oil giant to pump in Siberia, but ExxonMobil can’t make a dime from them (and Putin can’t tap into his country’s natural resources) until the State Department lifts the sanctions and let’s work commence. Hmmm, I wonder who could do that…
What if all of this — the hacking, the emails, the stupid red baseball hats — has been about freeing up ExxonMobil to pump oil in Siberia?! Or is that just more of an added bonus for both #TrumpSquad and Vladimir Putin? Is this a ’90s action movie? I feel like the next thing we’ll hear is that Hans Gruber is going to be energy secretary. (jk jk jk, it’s going to be Rick Perry, which is even more cartoon-ish).
In a statement on Tuesday morning announcing his pick, Trump called 64-year-old Tillerson’s career the “embodiment of the American Dream.” He added that Tillerson’s “tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for Secretary of State, saying Tillerson “will promote regional stability and focus on the core national security interests of the United States.”
He has no political or foreign policy experience, remember. He just runs an oil company. And this is the guy we’re going to send to “make peace in the Middle East,” as Reince Priebus put it on Fox & Friends Tuesday? Are we really at the point where we’re defending Trump’s choice for secretary of state with a recycled, meaningless slogan from the first Gulf War?
Hey, why not? Most of the wars in the region were started and fought in the name of ExxonMobil, so at least we know Tillerson knows his geography and contemporary political history.
ExxonMobil, under Tillerson, has also been the driving force behind climate change denial by basically just covering up science for decades and making sure no one knew what humans were actually doing to the environment. It’s not like there are complicated motives behind ExxonMobil’s business dealings — it’s all pretty obvious. And there is nothing complicated or nuanced about Tillerson being up for secretary of state.
Between his ties to Russia, the fact that he runs a huge oil company, and his ridiculous name, Tillerson is terrible all around. But at least these guys will make money and Putin will be happy. That’s really what’s important.