Donald Trump often presents himself in erratic and immature ways. He lacks diplomacy and surrounds himself with people who fail to display the basic decorum expected of those so closely connected to someone in Trump’s position.
All of the above about Trump feels true to a lot of people. However, one can’t deny that although unethical, a gross abuse of the trust the American people are supposed to be able to place in his position, and packed with dishonesty, the manner in which Trump has aligned himself with people whose interests are mutually beneficially with his own, and who stand to both lose and gain as much as Trump, is both sickening and smart.
Of all the members of Trump’s staff, the person whose pre-Washington interests have felt ickiest, is Rex Tillerson. Tillerson’s connection to oil giant, ExxonMobil, makes his place on Trump’s staff a clear conflict of interest. Nevertheless, Washington lawmakers failed to stand up for what’s right, so Tillerson was confirmed. Now, less than 100 days into Trump’s presidential tenure, Tillerson, ExxonMobil, and Trump are working together to scratch one another’s backs.
Trump once said that he would “bomb the sh*t” out of Afghanistan, then have Exxon come in to rebuild the oil lines and refineries. He joked about the subject as if it were child’s play. Just days after dropping the mother of all bombs (MOAB) on Afghanistan, The New York Times reports that ExxonMobil has reportedly sought a waiver from the Treasury Department’s sanctions against Russia.
The timing of Exxon’s request is questionable and brilliant. What was once a love affair between Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin, has soured a bit, with Russia taking a hard stance where Trump’s actions in Syria are concerned. Moreover, as FBI, Senate, and Justice Department inquiries into Trump-Russia collusion regarding interference in the 2016 presidential election continue to return overwhelming evidence of foul play, both Trump and Putin have to be feeling the walls closing in on them.
Granting this appeal would do a lot for the Trump administration’s ability to get back in Putin’s good graces, after all.
But it appears that Trump and Tillerson aren’t the only ones culpable in what looks a lot like a payola of some sort. The Senate dropped the ball, big time. According to The Times, the appeal request didn’t come up during Tillerson’s confirmation hearings despite the fact that Tillerson was known to have a great relationship with Putin.
When asked to comment about the waiver, Exxon spokeman Alan Jeffers, said:
‘We don’t comment on ongoing issues.’
Social media users had a lot to say, though:
— Spaceman (@JohnnySystem) April 19, 2017
@WSJ How is this different from lifting the sanction?? This is Putin’s payback from Trump. It must be tacked about loudly, blocked & stopped.
— Lauren Sinnott (@redlipsandboots) April 19, 2017
— MWD (@techyes32) April 19, 2017
— Gatorchick (@Gatorchick) April 19, 2017
Featured Image via Getty Images.