Rex Tillerson Confirmation Hearing: Live Webcast

Tyler Durden's picture

Tillerson's confirmation hearing, in which the former Exxon CEO will seek to distance himself from Putin and say that Russia "must be held accountable for its actions" adding that "Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests." begins at 9am Eastern, and can be watched below.

 

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Earlier:

Anticipating questions at his upcoming confirmation hearing, in which his "close relationship" with Russia will likely be in the spotlight for most of the session, Donald Trump's nominee for secretary of State on Wednesday will tell senators that Russia "must be held accountable for its actions" and that "Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests."

“Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia,” Tillerson, 64, will say before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee on Wednesday, according to his prepared remarks. At the same time, he faults a lack of U.S. leadership for Russia’s aggressiveness, citing “weak or mixed signals with ‘red lines’ that turned into green lights" adding "we must also be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia."

Having been accused of being friendly with Putin during his tenure as Exxon CEO, it should not come as a surprise that his remarks are a sharp departure from comments by Trump, who has called for a friendlier relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Critics have raised questions over Tillerson's close ties to Russia since his nomination for secretary of State. He received Russia's Order of Friendship Award from President Vladimir Putin in 2013 and he opposed sanctions against the country following its annexation of Ukraine's Crimea region in 2014.

As Bloomberg adds, "it’s also a stark turnaround for an oil baron who staked billions of dollars on Russia’s crude bonanza and as recently as 3 1/2 years ago was feted by Russia with its Order of Friendship. One of Tillerson’s most decisive moves as chief executive officer and chairman of Exxon was to make Russia the company’s biggest single exploration prospect globally."

Now, Tillerson faces the challenge of assuring lawmakers that he can pursue the broader interests of U.S. foreign policy after his 41-year career at Exxon, the world’s largest energy company by market value.

Tillerson's hearing comes at an awkward time, just a day after reports surfaced that intelligence officials had briefed the president-elect on a shadowy, unverifiable dossier alleging the Russian government had compromising information on him. The 35-page document, made up of a collection of memos filled with explosive claims about Trump's relationship to Russia - which may or may not have been originated on 4chan - has been circulating among journalists and officials for months.

Still, despite the recent surge in hacking-related newsflow, Tillerson will avoid the topic. In his testimony, Tillerson says Russia has acted against U.S. interests and urges an “open and frank dialogue” so that “we know how to chart our own course.” But, as Bloomberg adds, he makes no mention of U.S. intelligence findings that Russia hacked into last year’s presidential campaign, leaking documents in what the spy agencies say became an effort to help Trump win. Russia has denied responsibility for the hacking.

It’s an issue likely to come up in questioning, as are news reports that U.S. intelligence officials have informed Trump they’ve received unsubstantiated information that the Russian government had compiled potentially damaging personal and financial information on him. Trump denounced those reports on Twitter as “FAKE NEWS - A TOTAL POLITICAL WITCH HUNT!”

The Kremlin denied those allegations Wednesday. Asked to comment on Tillerson’s prepared statement, spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the Kremlin’s past “positive” assessments of the nominee referred to his professional qualities. “This doesn’t mean we are wearing rose-colored glasses,” Peskov said. “We understand that Mr. Tillerson will continue to be rather firm in following his line.”

While avoiding the topic of hacking, Tillerson does touch upon a more sensitive, to Russia issue, namely sanctions: in a nod to senators from both parties who are seeking tighter restrictions on Russia after the hacking, Tillerson does say the U.S. should use “economic aid and economic sanctions as instruments of foreign policy when appropriate.” Exxon has been hurt by sanctions against Russia that stalled its drilling plans there.

Tillerson says he is trying to explain what he calls Trump’s “bold new commitment” to advancing U.S. priorities abroad. At the same time, the speech charts a foreign policy vision that differs with Trump’s in important ways. Tillerson says the world risks plunging “deeper into confusion and danger” without American leadership, while Trump has cast the U.S. as overextended and in need of an “America First” policy.

 

In an implicit criticism of President Barack Obama’s policies, Tillerson paints a portrait of a U.S. government that has abrogated its leadership position in the world and no longer lives up to its commitments. Citing his time in the Boy Scouts -- he was an Eagle Scout and went on to lead the organization -- he says the U.S. must abide by the phrase the Boy Scouts cherish: “On my honor.”

Away from Russia-related topics, one sensitive issue Tillerson mentions is “radical Islam" - he says defeating Islamic State terrorists must be “our foremost priority in the Middle East.” He calls out North Korea and Iran, which he says has been allowed to get away with violations of the agreement that limited its nuclear program.

Tillerson also faults China for failing to rein in North Korea’s nuclear program and for stealing U.S. intellectual property.

In laying out a modest olive branch to China, Tillerson will say that “we need to see the positive dimensions in our relationship with China as well,” he will say. “The economic well-being of our two nations is deeply intertwined. China has been a valuable ally in curtailing elements of radical Islam. We should not let disagreements over other issues exclude areas for productive partnership.”

According to Bloomberg, those remarks will please leaders in Beijing, who have been unnerved by a litany of tweets in which Trump has questioned 40 years of protocol on Taiwan while saying that China dumps cheap goods on the U.S. market and continues to manipulate its currency.

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FreeShitter's picture

Tillerson go fuck yourself......

Shemp 4 Victory's picture

He's just going through the motions. Senators J. Sidney McCain and Lily Graham must hear the invocation of the magic "Putin bad, Russia scary" words or else no confirmation.

BullyDog's picture

The only nation in the world which has the most apathetic yet still armed citizens, is controlled by the most dangerous parasitical war mongering entities on the planet.

It's almost an oxymoron.   Land of the free.    How can it be, that liberty, truth and justice has fallen so far.

The amount of crap your leaders get away with, is mind blowing.

VinceFostersGhost's picture

 

 

Graham and McCain.....

 

If only I could fire those poor dumb son of a bitches.

wildbad's picture

really WTF???

tillerson..get in line!

Nemontel's picture

If Tillerson Cucks its most likely to appease the Neocons.

http://www.truthjustice.net/politics/neocohenservatism/

Oldwood's picture

Yes, if we could only be more like....France.

The Management's picture

The worlds foreign policy is still in large part dominated by the petro-dollar.

Who better to oversee petro-dollar diplomacy than a 10-year ceo of exxon-mobil ?

Watching this mans work compared to Hillary will be so entertaining.

laser's picture

A big stick is not a good weapon against a hornets nest.

NoBillsOfCredit's picture

Land of the used to be free. You pay tax on your labor, you use debt based paper 'money' in place of lawful coin. You are a slave and don't forget it.

The Management's picture

Well - They can AFFORD to be apathetic precisley because they DO have arms. Their freedoms are guaranteed by THEMSELVES.

OH - and Trump won - proving their fucked up republic still fires on a few cylinders, which i believe is way more than can be said for rigged EU nations.

"the most dangerous parasitical war mongering entities on the planet." - cant argue with you there. Can only hope MIC gets a serious hair cut. f35 - 1.5 Trillion 55 year program ? ... for a jet not much better than whats out therer now? This is why Trump (if he has the balls) can revamp economy by simply employing average joes to rebuild @ an honest daily wage for the money he could save by scrapping these ludicrous projects.

A. Boaty's picture

Going thru the motions? If he doesn't mean what he says during the hearings, then he'll get tarred as flip-flopper later.

valjoux7750's picture

The more things change the more they stay the same.....hopefully he is just telling them what they wanna hear!

A. Boaty's picture

Telling them what they want to hear can come back to haunt him if he contradicts himself later.

Laddie's picture

You are right. It is sad that the Republican party is filled with the same slime as the demonrats. If Trump OR any other Republican STOOD up for the Founding stock of this nation he would be GONE, I mean it would make Nixon look like an easy time.

So we should be grateful for whatever crumbs we can get off our Masters' table...for now...

Bashar and Putin are the only White leaders I trust today...

Assad Says the Alternative Media is Where You Find the Truth! Power to the People!

Ignatius's picture

No, no.  Well played, Tillerson.  Many lucrative Russia deals to follow under the cover of operation "bad Putin."

toady's picture

Exactly. It seems Tillerson will be a mouthpiece that spews what the idiots want to hear ...  "radical Islam", "Putin bad", etc.... while  (hopefully) getting things done behind closed doors. 

SoDamnMad's picture

Why do you say that?  In his past position he worked hard to deliver profits which paid out continuous dividends on it's stock shares. You might not know who holds how much of ExxonMobil and how you might have benefited from that payout.

mvlazysusan's picture

Is he going to create a 4chan account to do it? 

dark fiber's picture

There is no such thing as a 4chan account.  It is a free for all clusterfuck, that is so troll that only dumbfucks like the CIA fall for it.  Oh teh irony right there.

And without further ado I would like to invite you all to our latest trap thread on /b/.  Today special:  Guy only dates traps, lives with trap,  insists he is not gay, extravaganza.  Also general chicks with dicks thread for the overworked SEC employees.

Mike Masr's picture

Tillerson is ready to appear before the 2017 McCarthyite committee. Sen Joe McCarthy must be smiling in his grave!!!

BTW, Fuck Obama the worst president in US history!!! Good riddance!!!

https://countingdownto.com/countdown/obama-out-of-office-20-january-2017...

 

Zen Xenu's picture

Curious what Tillerson's game plan is, with his apparent caving in to MSM accusations.

Oldwood's picture

Strategy.

Everyone knows WHO is the real threat...our media. They are a superpower that requires much finesse to defeat, some days full frontal and others by coercion.

The MSM is obviously trying to leverage decades old fears of Russia against Trump. It is a battle of rational thought against irrational fears and Tillerson has to walk the middle path, just as Trump and everyone else in his administration.

There are no saviors or perfect people in any of this, but I have chosen sides in this battle and will back Trump and his choices until the day I can't. Cynicism is an important factor BUT we must have some faith here. Everything is not clear cut or absolute.

BorisTheBlade's picture

He'll probably play a lip service to get a confirmation. When confirmed, he'll be very pragmatic, as the rest of Trump team. Impossible to survive next 4 years otherwise.

yttirum's picture

These guys can say whatever they want to get the seat. The Trump team have facts and intel about situations that they will realease once Trump is in that will unravel the whole narrative and render this lip service moot. Then we'll here the "I trusted you and tried to work with you" bit, but now we see that you'all are retards, so we're just gonna do things our way and get this mess straightened out - after all, you fucks are totaly discredited and got no clout with the public. You know, something like that...

Wahooo's picture

Words are cheap. He loves Russia.

Oldwood's picture

We are supposed to love our fellow man....while maintaining a suspicious eye on every damned one of them.

It IS still after all, all about ME.

DeeZ_nutZ's picture

SO, MR $400 MILLION HONESTLY EARNED DOLLARS IS NOW SHITTING HIS PANTZ WHEN HE REALIZED THAT FBI AND CIA ARE LOOKING DEEPER INTO HOW HE ACTUALLY GOT HIS MONEY, HUH?  ALL OF THOSE YEARS SPENT IN RUSSIA SURE LEFT CERTAIN RECORDS IN CERTAIN FILES AND THE APPROVAL COMMITTEE WILL BE GET FULL ACCESS TO HIS DIRTY SHIT.

WAY TO GO, THILLIE BOY!  HEY, AND DON'T FORGET TO RETURN THAT MEDAL THAT YOU GOT FROM YOUR FRIEND PUTIN BEFORE ANSWERING TO THE CONGRESS.

FUCKING CHEAP PIECE OF SHIT, SAME AS HIS MASTER THE TRUMPON, DOES NOT EVEN HAVE THE BALLS TO STAND BY HIS OWN WORDS

Global Hunter's picture

Hey retard your caps is stuck on you fuckwhit

yttirum's picture

Follow me here, friend. Center of keyboard, all the way to the left, hit that there button that says CapsLk.

DeeZ_nutZ's picture

it's CAPS LOCK, you stupid, ignorant fuck.  if you are trying to pass yourself as a smart piece of shit, at least be accurate.

LyLo's picture

Ummm...  That's how it's frequently abbreviated on keyboards and in general.  I think he was trying to be helpful.

malek's picture

No on my keyboard it's Caps Lock you stupid ignorant fuck.

Squidbilly's picture

TILLERSON PRAYED OVER LETTING GAYS INTO THE BOY SCOUTS. GIVES A WHOLE NEW MEANING TO POP UPS! I SERIOUSLY DOUBT THIS IS HOW TRUMP INTENDS ON DRAINING THE SWAMP, BY POSITIONING THE WORSE CANDIDATES ONLY TO HAVE THEM VETTED AND REMOVED BY THE LEFT. HE'D STILL CONTEND IT WAS HIS PLAN EVEN IF IT WASN'T. THAT'S JUST HOW HE ROLZ. FUCK KUSHNER!

Cheka_Mate's picture

"Rex Tillerson spoke with a Southern drawl, a true Texan.  He had Remington statues in his office, more masculine than modern.  He was comfortable in his own skin, a natural leader."

-Steve Coll, ExxonMobil A Private Empire 

King Tut's picture

You are into male erotica? That's some Brokeback Mountain shit right there.

GreatUncle's picture

USA, get over it the rest of the world is waking up to the US corporations running amok over the world plundering and pillaging as they go. GS has more intravenous drips from foreign nations than any Russian based financial institution, JPM and all the rest are in there also.

If we are to have MORE! GS then fuck off I would rather deal with Russia thanks.

yttirum's picture

Multi-corporations, not US companies.

Oldwood's picture

Yes, we certainly must continue to embrace those who have never done anything except become wealthy by "representing" their constituencies while trading on interests and advantage of their legislative choices.

Are we going to continue to PRETEND that our professional politicians are NOT agents of corruption at the highest level, leveraging their power from the control of legislation OVER business interests?

 

dogismycopilot's picture

He will say what they want to hear.

Then he and Trump will get the US out of the UN and NATO can start buying their own fucking tanks.

Ghordius's picture

"“Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia,” Tillerson, 64, will say before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee..."

someone has realized that US involvement with NATO isn't the way (Kremlin-sponsored) propaganda ties to put it, from the bollocks about payments to the use of bases for force projection to the ME?

meh

Chris Dakota's picture

European welfare queens

Defend your own base.

malek's picture

*Kremlin-sponsored*
It's all Putin's fault!

The US or any other western country would NEVER engage in sponsorship of propaganda!!!1!

Gregor Samsa's picture

Tillerson was quoted today as saying the proof of Russia's evil could not be more clear, with the continued hard evidence coming out of the secret agent "Fore Chan" (obviously an Asian of some sort). "With Chan's help, we are slowly bringing Russia to its knees," he said.

We live in a society of imbeciles. Such a society deserves to collapse.

 

wisehiney's picture

MIC is number one exxon customer.

Illegal's picture

Tillerson good cop vs Trump bad cop, so the game is played.

wally_12's picture

I worked on a project that involved advanced optics that were manufactured in Chicago. The French bought the company, stripped everything out and stole the technology. When confronted by the State department, the French Trade minister said " we are military allies not trade allies". Where is the outrage over our allies stealing trade secrets?