Trump Picks Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson As Secretary Of State

Tyler Durden's picture

In a move that is certain to infuriate those who see Trump as nothing more than a puppet of the Kremlin, moments ago NBC reported that Rex Tillerson, CEO of Exxon Mobil and late entrant into the SecState race after his first meeting with the president elect this past Tuesday at the Trump Tower, has been picked by Trump to serve as his next Secretary of State.

As NBC adds, Tillerson met Saturday with Trump at Trump Tower in New York, the president-elect's spokesperson confirmed.  The selection of Tillerson comes after Trump and his transition team spent weeks searching for someone to fill the post of the top U.S. diplomat. Former Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney and former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani were reportedly in the running. Giuliani said Friday he had taken his name out of consideration.

The 64-year-old Texas oilman, whose friends describe as a staunch conservative, emerged as a Secretary of State contender only last week following a meeting with Trump, when it was speculated that he would consider the offer "due to his sense of patriotic duty and because he is set to retire from the company next year." Tillerson's appointment would introduce the potential for sticky conflicts of interest because of his financial stake in Exxon: he owns Exxon shares worth $151 million, according to recent securities filings.

A quick biographical sketch of Tillerson courtesy of the WSJ:

The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity.

He joined Exxon in 1975 and has spent his entire career at the company.

For most of his adult life, he has also been closely involved with the Boy Scouts of America, even occasionally incorporating the Scout Law and Scout Oath into his speeches.  Mr. Tillerson played an instrumental role in leading the organization to change its policy to allow gay youth to participate in 2013, Mr. Hamre said. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates subsequently moved to lift the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders as Boy Scouts president in 2015.  “Most of the reason that organizations fail at change is pretty simple: People don’t understand why,” Mr. Tillerson said in a speech after the 2013 decision, urging leaders to communicate about the policy to help make it successful. “We’re going to serve kids and make the leaders of tomorrow.”

* * *

However it is not his Boy Scout exploits that will be the key talking point for pundits in the coming days, but rather his close relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin.

According to the WSJ, few U.S. citizens are closer to Mr. Putin than Mr. Tillerson,  a recipient of Russia's Order of Friendship, bestowed by the president...

... who has known Putin since he represented Exxon’s interests in Russia during the regime of Boris Yeltsin.

“He has had more interactive time with Vladimir Putin than probably any other American with the exception of Henry Kissinger,” said John Hamre, a former deputy defense secretary during the Clinton administration and president of the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a Washington think tank where Mr. Tillerson is a board member.

Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson with Vladimir Putin, then Russia’s prime minister, at
a signing ceremony in the Black Sea resort of Sochi in August 2011.

In 2011, Mr. Tillerson struck a deal giving Exxon access to prized Arctic resources in Russia as well as allowing Russia’s state oil company, OAO Rosneft, to invest in Exxon concessions all over the world. The following year, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson.

The deal would have been transformative for Exxon. Mr. Putin at the time called it one of the most important involving Russia and the U.S., forecasting that the partnership could eventually spend $500 billion. But it was subsequently blocked by sanctions on Russia that the U.S. and its allies imposed two years ago after the country’s invasion of Crimea and conflicts with Ukraine.

Tillerson spoke against the sanctions at the company’s annual meeting in 2014. “We always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad collateral damage of who are they really harming with sanctions,” he said.

As such, many have speculated that under his regime, the State Department may quietly drop any existing sactions against Russia.

* * *

Then there is the thorny issue of potential conflicts of interest, and his massive holdings of Exxon stock.

One of the first issues Tillerson would have to resolve as secretary of state would be his holdings of Exxon shares, many of which aren’t scheduled to vest for almost a decade. The value of those shares could go up if the sanctions on Russia were lifted. 

The shares would likely have to be sold under State Department ethics rules, Chase Untermeyer, a former U.S. Ambassador to Qatar, said in an interview. “He could not erase his strong relationship with a particular country,” Mr. Untermeyer said. “The best protection from a conflict of interest is transparency.”

Tillerson will sell his $150+ million in XOM shares tax free, courtesy of the same tax break that was introduced in 1989 under the administration of President George H.W. Bush, which allowed Hank Paulson, Colin Powell and plenty of other public servants to dispose of their equity holdings without paying taxes: to get the tax relief, it must be deemed “reasonably necessary” for a public official to divest his shares, or a congressional committee must require the asset sale, according to section 1043 of the tax code, something which is virtually assured in the case of Tillerson.

* * *

Finally, the environmentalists will certainly be displeased with Trump's choice, even thought Tillerson helped shift Exxon’s response to climate change when he took over as CEO in 2006. He embraced a carbon tax as the best potential policy solution and has said climate change is a global problem that warrants action. That was a break from his predecessor, Lee Raymond.

Still, Mr. Tillerson is a polarizing figure among Democrats and environmental activists. They have accused Exxon of sowing doubt about the impacts of climate change during Mr. Raymond’s tenure and say Mr. Tillerson hasn’t done enough to disclose the future impact of climate-change regulations on the company’s ability to get oil out of the ground.

This is certainly a good way to make clear exactly who’ll be running the government in a Trump administration—just cut out the middleman and hand it directly to the fossil-fuel industry,” said Bill McKibben, the environmental activist and founder of


Exxon has disputed the criticism and accused activists and Democratic attorneys general of conspiring against the company.


The son of a local Boy Scouts administrator, Mr. Tillerson was born in Wichita Falls, Texas. He attended the University of Texas, where he studied civil engineering, was a drummer in the Longhorn band and participated in a community service-oriented fraternity.


As secretary of state, Tillerson would be fourth in line to the presidency.

No matter how US diplomacy plays out under Tillerson, however, one thing is certain: at least Mitt Romney will not be setting US foreign policy for the next four years. This particular ritual humiliation has now been duly completed...

Finally, as NBC also adds, Tillerson's deputy secretary of state for day-to-day management of the department will be former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton.

To summarize: a cabinet run by Wall Street and big oil (with a neocon backstop), and a handful of veteran generals thrown in. The writing should be on the wall as to what comes next.

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balz's picture

We'll need another wambulance for crying snowflakes.

ZH Snob's picture

all I can say is it sure beats Romney and the mormon mafia.

Escrava Isaura's picture

This is an energy play.

Major, and bold move by Trump.

I like it……Even that I (we) don’t have all the information and their plans.


By the way, ZH Snob your statement is correct.




dsty's picture

by by Opec

tee hee.

go dollar!

overbet's picture

I like it FUCK OPEC

BaBaBouy's picture

Ahhh WTF... May As Well Hire The Whole Swamp ~~~

In the end, we all knew it would only be about 3 things, Money, Money, and Money...

USofAzzDownWeGo's picture

WHITE capitalist oil men in america are not zionist shills. 

Manthong's picture

Rex Tillerson - Wikipedia

Rex Tillerson; Born March 23, 1952 (age 64) Wichita Falls, Texas, US: ... Tillerson is a devout Christian who attends Church and Bible study every week.

..and he has established political connections all around the world (besides Putin)..

..unless you are a tree-hugging environmental whacko, you could not find a better choice.

--compare his resume with the last two lightweights that had the job there  (the war-mongering witch and the swift boating Senators son “Jengis Kahn” who earned three purple hearts and a bronze star during a three month vacation In ‘Nam).


Automatic Choke's picture

somebody better send Krugman another box of kleenex.

bamawatson's picture

..... Researching Bill, we have encountered the name Kevin Reynolds who owns sketchy East Hampton Babysitters and Vacation Concierge. The Babysitters business website asks “Need a massage?“. The link takes you to a site which explains Kevin Reynolds actually “pioneered infant massage programs“. 

nice pic of kev & his two 'friends'


Raymond K Hessel's picture

So Kissinger knows him, that's okay. Tillerson knows him must be for some nefarious reason.

Okay got it.

If you know a foreign leader as a member of government then that's not evil

If you know a foreign leader as a private citizen then that's evil.

letsit's picture

“(Trump) indicated that he would deploy US combat forces to battle ISIS directly in order to grab (Middle East) oil fields that would then be handed over to US companies."

An Exxon dude as SoS. Mmmm!

tazs's picture
tazs (not verified) letsit Dec 10, 2016 4:16 PM

I smell a swampy fish.

Mano-A-Mano's picture
Mano-A-Mano (not verified) tazs Dec 10, 2016 4:17 PM

Every Trump's appointment smells like one.

Revolution, my a$$.

The Saint's picture
The Saint (not verified) Mano-A-Mano Dec 10, 2016 4:32 PM

Oh no!  But what's Lurch going to do after January 20th?  Oh, that's right, he's got his Heinz sugar Momma to take care of him.  No more climing through nuclear reactors in a rabbit suit or going to the Antarctic to visit with aliens for Lurch!  LMAO


nmewn's picture

lol...fuckin Romney, he still doesn't realize he got played.

After 8 years of pajama wearing, hot cocoa drinking, she-men sobbing over their "healthcare" and solar panels this is really refreshing ;-)

Mr. Universe's picture

You want to know why Comey sent out his letter to congress after seeing Weiner's computer files? Is it because it was so damning there was no way to keep it quiet? I'd sure like to know how deep the rabbit hole is. I'm now convinced more than ever we are totally being screwed over yet again. "It's a big club, and you ain't in it."

I don't know but this seems about par for the course.

Mr. Tillerson played an instrumental role in leading the organization to change its policy to allow gay youth to participate in 2013, Mr. Hamre said. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates subsequently moved to lift the organization’s ban on gay adult leaders as Boy Scouts president in 2015.  “Most of the reason that organizations fail at change is pretty simple: People don’t understand why,” Mr. Tillerson said in a speech after the 2013 decision, urging leaders to communicate about the policy to help make it successful. “We’re going to serve kids and make the leaders of tomorrow.”

Serve them how? Roasted with mashed potatoes? Dimes to Donuts Trump is hip deep in this shit as well. One word, Ivanka.

nmewn's picture

I have no idea what any of that is even supposed to mean.

The files in question were Huma's & Hillarys on Weiners laptop because Huma forwarded them there against "the law" and statute. The mere fact she did that is a crime and Hillary having her MAID print out documents is ALSO a crime whether or not Comey & Low-Renta Lynch said it was "intentional" or not is completely irrelevant and immaterial.

They both did it.

So what exactly are you trying to say, that Trumps married daughter (Ivanka) is a gay aspiring boyscout?

I think she's too old for the boyscouts ;-)

Tarzan's picture

I love that he picked a christian boyscout oil man. It'll send shivers down the spine of the Lucifarians and liberals alike.

But I mostly love that his name is not Romney!

Mr. Universe's picture

At least someone who is trying to figure out what I think might be going on. Point being, I think of things in future terms and how they might play out. I'm not saying I'm right, but it's a possibility. I'll repeat Tillerman is a statist tool, buddy buddy with the CFR and no real conservative christian from Texas would ever support gays + gay leadership in the Boy Scouts. The quote speaks for itself.

I diagree about the computer, they already knew she had misused, missent, and misprinted classified docs. No problemo. My theory (call it a conspiracy theory) is that the info was SO damaging (PIZZAGATE) that Comey wasn't going to end up holding the bag on this one. He failed to grasp how far the reach of Big Brother goes.

Ivanka. I have had several female friends tell me the pictures of young Ivanka and Donald are just plain creepy. Donald from what I can tell has no moral compass other than money, which the love is, the root of all evil. So sure we avoided one Satanic bitch from hell only to elect a possible anti-christ. You down voting Trumpomaniacs mark my words, this is not going to end well.

Kayman's picture

Trump knows the world turns on oil.  Oil producing countries and oil consuming countries. No better pick for changing the balance of power than the guy that knows where the oil is and the cost of extraction.

"Just plain creepy".  Your neighbors tell me you are just plain creepy.


Mr. Universe's picture

My neighbors are all from Korea, Vietnam and the Phillipines, of course I'm creepy. 

I could go on in Donalds own words about how "hot" Ivanka is...

Now of course none of this means anything, still it is concerning.

philipat's picture

Dear letsit, tazs, techies-r-us, stizazz, lock-stock, beauticelli, Mano-A-Mano, mofio, santafe, Aristotle of Greece, Gargoyle, bleu, oops, lance-a-lot, Loftie, toro, Yippee Kiyay, lonnng, Nekoti, SumTing Wong, King Tut, Adullam, espirit, rp2016, Holy hand grenade of Antioch, One of these is not like the others, amongst many others, I wonder why you continue to talk to yourself? When you use honest disclosure in the link to your Biblicism Institute site (Even though the site has no connection whatsoever to your comments) I will  not respond with a SPAM alert. So there is no need to talk to yourself to prevent my SPAM alert appearing right below your fake links. Unless you see the need to congratulate and/or reassure yourself on your clever comments, knowing that nobody else will? Alternatively, it can only mean you are seriously mentally ill. Talking to yourself is not good; you MUST remember to take your meds.

toady's picture

Yeah,  that shtick is getting old. Every time I see one of those id's it's followed by a couple of the others agreeing with the first one.... it's so obvious you'd think the Tyler's would do something about it... the troll has obviously gotten past any multiple user policy that may be in place. 

Raymond K Hessel's picture

Don't reply to my posts

Go bother someone who gives a shit about your rancid nonsense

Uchtdorf's picture

Fascism a governmental system led by dictator having complete power, forcibly 

suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and 

emphasizing an aggressive nationalism

RSDallas's picture

Letsit, you maybe right here, hate to say it, but we'll soon know the truth if we start hearing that the US and Russia are now cooperating to oust Assad.

caconhma's picture

People know nothing about the Watergate. The primary reason why Nixon was removed from the Presidency was that Nixon and Kissinger started the Detente (warming with Soviets) with the USSR and had transferred to Soviets a lot of defense technology including MIRV strategic missile manufacturing capabilities. Consequently, CIA and the Pentagon Black Ops brought Nixon down.

Kissinger is the number one US traitor and this is the reason why he is so much welcome in Russia.


A Nanny Moose's picture

...but he's an LMT. So it must be legit.

jeff montanye's picture

the part john bolton plays interests me.  i hope trump intends the neoconservatives get the bad news from one of their own.  anything else gives me the shivers.

also we can ditch this phrase, at least on this fake news site: "after the country’s invasion of Crimea".  the russian troops were already there with the approval of the vast majority of the residents as their vote for annexation indicated.

i'm not a particular friend of the oil industry (and it breaks their heart) but this guy seems ok in light of the putin relationship.  i hope trump really listens to mr. putin; putin has dealt with the likud/mossad zionists up close and personal.  he knows.

Dancing Disraeli's picture

"putin has dealt with the likud/mossad zionists up close and personal.  he knows."

And he continues to defeat them AND he's still alive!  This is a great man.

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) jeff montanye Dec 10, 2016 8:35 PM

Unlike Tillerson, John Bolton is a member of the Rockefeller/CFR. He is also an "advisor" at the neocon JINSA and UANI orgs. Other UANI advisors include Jeb Bush, Joe Lieberman, several other CFR members, and a former director of the Israeli Mossad:

Kayman's picture

Crimea was Russian for hundreds of years.  Khrushchev gave his homeland (the Ukraine) the Crimean Pennisula while it was still a part of the Soviet Union. No chance that would have happened when Stalin sat in the big chair.

Let's hope Putin still thinks the Czar's deal to sell Alaska to Seward still stands. Aw fuck, don' make me sarc this.

evoila's picture

John Bolton? Jesus Effing Christ.  

I could deal with the GS cabal, but now I officially want my vote back.

StackShinyStuff's picture

Just think of that curse: "May you live in interesting times"  We are there people.  Hedge accordingly.  

zeronetwork's picture

I checked Wikipedia but it does not say if
Rex Wayne Tillerson is a Jew or not. If not he might be a first non Jew Secretary of state since 1929.

GreatCaesar'sGhost's picture

Christian. Apparently he's some kind of Congregationalist.

caconhma's picture

I did not know that horse-face John Kerry or Hitlery Clinton are Jews.

Holy hand grenade of Antioch's picture
Holy hand grenade of Antioch (not verified) caconhma Dec 11, 2016 8:33 AM

John Kohn? u mean

Uzda Farce's picture
Uzda Farce (not verified) zeronetwork Dec 10, 2016 8:44 PM

Sec of State: Kerry, Clinton, Rice, Powell, Albright, Christopher, Eagleburger, Baker, Shultz, Haig, Muskie, Vance, Kissinger, Rogers, Rusk, Herter, Dulles. Besides Kissinger, how many Jews in the list? Extra credit question: How many CFR members?

caconhma's picture

I did not know that one needs to be a Hero of Russia to be a Trump's Secretary of State.

Chris Dakota's picture
Chris Dakota (not verified) Automatic Choke Dec 10, 2016 3:05 PM
A Rigged Revolution: How The Shadow CIA-MI6 Network Put Khomeini And Militant Islamists in Power

With the Shah gas in the US was .25 per gallon and the American lifestyle was great because he was over producing to keep it low.

Think Carter, Obama and Saudi, terror, destabilized ME,  gas $5 gallon...


Billy the Poet's picture

Kermit Roosevelt and the CIA put the Shaw in power:


CIA Confirms Role in 1953 Iran Coup Documents Provide New Details on Mosaddeq Overthrow and Its Aftermath National Security Archive Calls for Release of Remaining Classified Record National Security Archive Electronic Briefing Book No. 435

Posted – August 19, 2013

LithiumWarsWAKEUP's picture

And 'working man' wages were $2.45-3.50 hr.


Manthong's picture

“send Krugman another box of kleenex”

..and a 55 gallon drum of Imodium to try and stop the diarrhea of Biblical proportions he has been experiencing lately.

Bindar Dundat's picture

When will the liberals finally understand  that we simply do not care about their dramatic BS ?



Stuck on Zero's picture

I think this is carrying the "petrodollar" concept a bit too far.