Perhaps nowhere outside the West Wing is that retreat more apparent than at the State Department, which for the first six weeks of the Trump administration essentially shut off all communication with the public and the press.
One of Rex Tillerson’s first directives as U.S. secretary of state was an order to senior staff that his briefing materials not exceed two pages. It was a reflection of Tillerson’s management style honed at the helm of Exxon Mobil, and one reason his closest aides at the State Department refer to him as “the CEO” rather than “the Secretary.”
In the vote, 56 senators backed Tillerson, and 43 voted no. Senate Democrats had tried, but failed, to delay the vote because of Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven mostly Muslim countries and temporarily halting the entry of refugees. They said they wanted to ask Tillerson more questions about the issue after Trump signed the order.
Authoritarians love walls. That will be his scrawl across America. It will make an enemy of our neighbor, Mexico, but who cares? That may be his foreign policy in a nutshell. We’re living in Donald Trump’s reality now, and the “truth” is what Trump says it is.
“It’s the single biggest simultaneous departure of institutional memory that anyone can remember, and that’s incredibly difficult to replicate,” said David Wade, the State Department chief of staff under John Kerry. “Department expertise in security, management, administrative, and consular positions in particular are very difficult to replicate and particularly difficult to find in the private sector.”
The Senate Foreign Relations Committee voted 11-10 to approve Tillerson, with every Republican backing the former oil executive and every Democrat opposing him. Democrats said they voted against Tillerson over fears he might lift sanctions on Russia.
Erring on the side of recklessness comes at a high price. It undermines the constitutional rights America values most. It harms our international image. It hands a recruitment tool to terrorists. We know this now. Time to apply the lesson.
Rex Tillerson, the former oil executive under consideration for U.S. secretary of state, is trying to avoid giving testimony in a federal lawsuit over climate change, according to a lawyer for a group of teenagers who filed the suit. Tillerson’s deposition is set for Jan. 19, a day before President-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.
The incoming U.S. administration’s tough talk against China has set the stage for showdowns on everything from security to trade and cyberspace, but contradictory signals are sowing uncertainty over how far President-elect Donald Trump is prepared to go in confronting Beijing.
Are we living history backward? A swaggering new president who lost the people’s vote may mimic Julius Caesar’s Rome, changing from a republic to an empire. Caesar conquered Gaul. Trump conquered Rockefeller Center, where NBC made the mogul’s reality show, “The Apprentice.” It feels “unpresidented.”
Tillerson is already under fire for making the seemingly false claim that Exxon has not lobbied against sanctions on Russia and other nations that would affect Exxon’s business dealings, but here are five other climate change-related takeaways that reporters should keep in mind in their coverage of the hearing and Tillerson nomination going forward.
During the hearings, Tillerson repeatedly said that he and Exxon did not lobby Congress about sanctions against Russia implemented in 2014. Sens. Jeff Merkley and Bob Menendez then confronted Tillerson with lobbying documents that showed Exxon opposed the sanctions and paid Washington-based lobbyists to oppose the legislation.
Tillerson’s support for a more assertive policy toward Russia than Trump has espoused was tempered by his refusal to commit to support maintaining President Barack Obama’s executive order authorizing additional sanctions against Moscow because of its interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.
With Tillerson as the country’s top diplomat, the opportunity to redefine the rationale and methods for the entirety of our interactions with other nations is unparalleled. While this has been true to some extent since World War II, this appointment institutionalizes the view that our national diplomacy will be guided by resource acquisition.
The central question facing Tillerson, 64, the former chairman of Exxon Mobil, is how effectively he can transform himself from a Big Oil “dealmaker” to being America’s top diplomat with little government experience.
Schumer said Trump’s nominees, many of whom have extensive business backgrounds at companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and Goldman Sachs, should be carefully scrutinized to be sure they avoid conflicts of interest. He also confirmed that some of Trump’s nominees have not completed a review process conducted by the U.S. Office of Government Ethics.
A total of seven confirmation hearings are expected this week, starting on Tuesday with hearings for U.S. Senator Jeff Sessions on his bid to become attorney general and a session for retired Gen. John Kelly, Trump’s pick for secretary of homeland security.
With six different confirmation hearings stacked on the same day, on top of Trump’s press conference, it’s impossible for the media to provide the information people need. And that’s the point — it appears to be a deliberate effort to manipulate both the press and the public.
As the Republican-led U.S. Congress begins a new session, it will start laying plans for enacting President-elect Donald Trump’s agenda of tax cuts, repeal of Obamacare, and the rollback of financial and environmental regulations.
Despite his promise to unite a deeply divided country, Trump will be sworn in on Jan. 20 leading a Republican Party that early on will push legislation through Congress without significant – or any – Democratic support.
“I and several of my colleagues have concerns about Mr Tillerson, and some of his past activities, specifically his relationship with Vladimir Putin,” McCain told reporters. Fellow Republican senator Lindsey Graham, who is traveling with McCain, called for sanctions against Russia to be widened to target areas like energy and to be directly aimed at Putin.
Despite company denials, ExxonMobil has continued to spend millions of dollars on denier groups since Rex Tillerson took over as its CEO in 2006.
While the president and vice president are largely exempt from government ethics rules, President-elect Donald Trump’s proposed Cabinet isn’t.
In a tweet the day after the election, President-elect Donald Trump wrote, “The forgotten man and woman will never be forgotten again.” But for those dodging relentless earthquakes in Oklahoma because of increased fracking, Trump seems to have already forgotten them.