The president-elect’s pick to serve as his Secretary of State, former Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, is scheduled to be officially confirmed by the Senate later this week.
The man about to assume the office of the nation’s top diplomat, however, is on shockingly close terms with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Tillerson, of course, will soon be tasked with making and administering the United States’s foreign policy decisions that involve Putin. And Putin, for his part, is a totalitarian leader who leads a nation defined by the eradication of any and all dissent.
And yet, as mentioned above, Tillerson is on shockingly close terms with Putin. In fact, the experience that Tillerson gained while building his relationship with Putin is, by all appearances, precisely what led Trump to pick him for his new job.
As MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow explained on her show shortly before Trump officially announced Tillerson as his Secretary of State pick, there’s a 500 billion dollar Exxon Mobil oil exploration deal with Russia’s state run oil company hinging on the next presidential administration being on good terms with the Kremlin.
As Maddow described of the deal:
‘Those two giant companies… those two giants got together to do a joint exploration deal, the biggest oil deal in the history of deals. It was so big it was expected to change the historical trajectory of Russia. It was the deal that got the Exxon CEO [Tillerson] Russia’s highest [civilian] award.’
There’s a key word in Maddow’s description of the deal, though — “was.” As she said, the deal was so big that it was expected to change the historical trajectory of Russia.
The deal was nearly official when it was put on hold near the end of negotiations because of a set of sanctions that the U.S. slapped on Russia for its invasion of the Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula.
And if Tillerson is both whispering in Trump’s ear and himself administering America’s foreign policy towards Russia, then what do you think will happen? Well, the sanctions will collapse, and the Exxon Mobil/ Russian state oil company deal will move forward, of course.
There’s an even more disturbing undertone to all of this than just that the offices of the U.S. government are basically being turned into profit builders for the Russian government — the impact on the climate.
Joe Romm, writing in ThinkProgress, suggests that Putin could also latch onto the Trump administration to bolster his pending deal with Exxon Mobil via Trump’s suggestion that he will work to overturn the recently signed global Paris Climate Agreement.
‘[I]f Trump and Tillerson work together to kill the Paris climate deal… that will look like they are putting Putin’s interests and Exxon’s profits above… the health and well-being of our children… ExxonMobil’s future is inextricably tied to their stalled oil deal with Putin — and their future drilling plans would benefit from continued global warming and melting of polar ice.’
You can watch Maddow’s recent segment on Tillerson below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video.