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Trump’s pick for State is an accomplished executive

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson spoke in Washington on March 27, 2015.

WASHINGTON >> Rex W. Tillerson, the chief executive of Exxon Mobil, whose extensive deal-making for the energy giant has plunged him into global politics from Yemen to Russia, is expected to be offered the secretary of state post this weekend by President-elect Donald Trump, according to two people close to Trump’s transition team.

Tillerson has close ties with President Vladimir Putin of Russia, whom he has known for more than two decades. Russia awarded Tillerson its Order of Friendship in 2013, the year before Washington’s relationship with Moscow sank into a deep freeze over Russia’s annexation of Crimea and its shadow war in eastern Ukraine.

Relations with Russia have grown only more troubled since U.S. intelligence agencies formally determined shortly after the November election that Russia had taken steps intended to help Trump win.

Tillerson, with no background in diplomacy outside the energy arena, would inherit those problems. He would also face the question of whether to maintain sanctions on Russia — penalties he has criticized for slowing Exxon’s investments in that country.

His connections to Russia are sure to come under scrutiny during a Senate confirmation hearing. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., said Saturday that Tillerson’s ties to Putin were “a matter of concern to me.”

“I’d have to examine it,” he said on Fox News, adding that “Vladimir Putin is a thug, bully and a murderer, and anybody else who describes him as anything else is lying.”

Tillerson’s success in business gives him a major credential with Trump, who values that background, along with loyalty, above other traits. He would be one of several wealthy business executives in top administration jobs.

Tillerson met with Trump for more than two hours Saturday at Trump Tower in New York, and two of the president-elect’s key advisers, his chief strategist, Stephen Bannon, and his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, have told Trump that Tillerson is in a “different league” from his other options.

But Trump is famously mercurial and could change his mind before making his final decision public. A transition spokesman, Jason Miller, declined to comment. Among the other contenders have been Mitt Romney, the 2012 Republican presidential nominee, and Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

Trump’s team has discussed the possibility of appointing as deputy secretary John R. Bolton, a highly conservative and combative veteran of the George W. Bush administration. Trump has also spoken with Richard N. Haass, the president of the Council on Foreign Relations and a far more centrist figure.

Tillerson, 64, has spent the past 41 years at Exxon, where he began as a production engineer and went on to strike deals around the world for a company that explores, buys and sells oil and gas in some of the globe’s most troubled corners.

If confirmed by the Senate, Tillerson will deal with many of the world leaders he encountered at Exxon, but with a very different agenda. In addition to an increasingly aggressive Russia, he will have to manage a raging war in Syria that has consumed the last year of diplomatic efforts by Secretary of State John Kerry, a rising China that is staking claims in the South China Sea, and a North Korea that is growing closer to being able to launch a nuclear-armed missile at the United States.

The kind of deal-making diplomacy that Tillerson has excelled at is far different from the alliance-building required of a secretary of state, often without the incentive of profits for negotiating partners.

Tillerson assumed the role of chairman and chief executive of Exxon Mobil in January 2006, and during his tenure the company acknowledged, for the first time, the science underlying climate change. It has said it supports the creation of a carbon tax, which most Republicans have opposed, and it also supported the Paris climate agreement, a major focus of Kerry’s time in office. Trump has vowed to abandon the climate pact.

In May, Tillerson told shareholders that “we believe that addressing the risk of climate change is a global issue,” adding that it would require the cooperation of governments, businesses and individuals.

Executives at Exxon describe Tillerson as a strong leader, accustomed to making decisions and giving orders. Some have expressed surprise that he would be interested in the job of secretary of state, because he would not be the final decision-maker.

A native of Wichita Falls, Texas, Tillerson speaks with a strong Texas twang and is known for quoting Boy Scout creeds. If he has faced a failure as a leader of Exxon, it was that he was slow to invest in the oil and gas shale fields around Texas and North Dakota. Preferring to invest in big, expensive projects around the world, he left the shale fields open to smaller, more nimble independent companies.

When he finally bought XTO, a shale gas-producing company, in 2009 for more than $30 billion, he did so when natural gas prices were at a peak. After paying a premium for the company, Exxon’s earnings have suffered in recent years.

Still, in total, Tillerson has excelled in the somewhat rigid atmosphere inside Exxon. Steve Coll, author of “Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power,” noted in 2012 that Tillerson presided over a company that had succeeded “where the question is numbers, or engineering effectiveness, or worker safety performance.”

“But when the question involves the human factor, building trust with your communities where you’re drilling, or convincing people that fracking is not going to ruin their water, or dealing with political environments in 150 different countries with lots of supply problems, or dealing with violence on the ground around your oil fields in Africa — in all of those areas, I think they have a habit of not really taking anybody’s advice,” Coll said.

“They keep the windows closed,” added Coll, now dean of the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. “They have an enormous amount of confidence in themselves, and I think they defeat themselves in these other areas of political communications more often than they need to.”

The question is how Tillerson will mesh with the far less hierarchical world of the State Department, where dissent is common, leaks about decision-making are often the order of the day, and success and failure are not measured on a balance sheet.

He is no stranger to political upheaval, however. Exxon has operations in about 50 countries, and Tillerson has not been shy about promoting the interests of his company, whether they coincide with U.S. policy or not.

Shortly after he took the helm, President Hugo Chávez of Venezuela moved to nationalize the assets of 22 foreign oil companies. Most chose to negotiate compensation arrangements. But Exxon Mobil, along with ConocoPhillips, took Venezuela to international arbitration court, and in 2014 Exxon won a $1.6 billion compensation package.

It was a fraction of what the company had demanded, but Exxon showed unusual toughness. The company also mobilized a serious exploration effort in Guyanese waters claimed by Venezuela, and that work is expected to eventually result in major production.

Exxon has close ties to the Qatari national oil company, and has partnered with the Qataris in building a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Gulf of Mexico coast that is designed for importing gas and may eventually be used for exporting it, as well.

He has also signed deals to develop oil fields in the autonomous region of Kurdistan, angering an important U.S. ally, Iraq, which bars such direct dealings.

But most controversial is Exxon’s close relationship with Russia, which Tillerson has worked hard to strengthen. Exxon has various joint ventures around Russia with the state-backed oil giant Rosneft, and has contributed to social programs in education and health.

(STORY CAN END HERE. OPTIONAL MATERIAL FOLLOWS.)

Western sanctions prohibiting certain energy development activities have posed a hurdle to Exxon’s investments in Russia, particularly a joint venture with Rosneft that was supposed to start drilling for oil in 2014 in the Kara Sea, part of the Arctic Ocean. Tillerson has spoken out against sanctions, in part because the company is unable to collect revenues from an investment in an oil and gas consortium to which Exxon belongs that operates off Sakhalin Island.

“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,” Tillerson told shareholders at the company’s 2014 annual meeting.

Last week, Exxon became a major player in Mexico by successfully bidding with other international oil companies for the right to explore and develop deepwater reserves. The auction came at a time when Mexico is primed for a confrontation with Trump, who has vowed to build a wall along the border.

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  • Mr Trump doing a great job and America is well on the way to becoming great again. Can’t beat having a successful oil man with International experience serving as Sec of State. Beats the heck out of Kerry the Vietnam turncoat.

        • Anyone; anyone, would be better than the last two SecStates – Hillary and Kerry; both buffoons of the highest order.

      • Why?

        I’ll tell you why.

        Because this treasonous piece of [redacted] went before Fulbright’s Foreign Affairs Committee in April 1971 and accused those he served with – – indeed all of us who served in country – – with war crimes while painting himself as the lone hero.

        And why this perfidy? Because right after this grand standing S O B returned to “the world” after the brief few weeks he needed to scoop up the purple hearts he needed to get out of harms way, he found that his make believe “JFK from Massachusetts war hero” act did not garner him the favorable attention he sought, so he threw in with that draft dodging, America hating, “peace” activists and s u c k e d up to them to attract favorable “news” media attention.

        As much as I enjoyed being retired, able to come home to my family every night, I would happily have been recalled to active duty for the privilege of serving on the firing squad this treacherous b a s t a r d so richly deserves.

        Thank GOD for the patriotism and courage of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth coming forward to hole Kerry’s campaign at the waterline.

        • Snopes:
          “In 1969, I was Sen. Kerry’s gun mate atop of the Swift boat in Vietnam. And I just wanted to let everyone know that, contrary to all the rumors that you might hear from the other side, Sen. Kerry’s blood is red, not blue. I know, I’ve seen it.

          “If it weren’t for Sen. John Kerry, on the 28th of February 1969, the day he won the Silver Star . . . you and I would not be having this conversation. My name would be on a long, black wall in Washington, D.C. I saw this man save my life.”3

          — Fred Short

          “I can still see him now, standing in the doorway of the pilothouse, firing his M-16, shouting orders through the smoke and chaos . . . Even wounded, or confronting sights no man should ever have to see, he never lost his cool.

          I had to sit on my hands [after a firefight], I was shaking so hard . . . He went to every man on that boat and put his arm around them and asked them how they’re doing. I’ve never had an officer do that before or since. That’s the mettle of the man, John Kerry.”3

          — David Alston

          “What I saw back then [in Vietnam] was a guy with genuine caring and leadership ability who was aggressive when he had to be. What I see now is a guy who’s not afraid to tackle tough issues. And he knows what the consequences are of putting people’s kids in harm’s way.”2

          — James Wasser
          Many of Kerry’s Vietnam commanders and fellow officers also continue to speak positively of him:
          Navy records, fitness reports by Kerry’s commanders and scores of interviews with Swift boat officers and crewmen depict a model officer who fought aggressively in river ambushes and won the respect of many of his crewmates and commanders, even as his doubts about the war grew.

          “I don’t like what he said after the war,” said Adrian Lonsdale, who commanded Kerry for three months in 1969. “But he was a good naval officer.”2

          “I don’t know what conclusions you can draw about someone’s ability to lead from their combat experience, but John’s service was commendable,” said James J. Galvin, a former Swift boat officer . . . “He played by the same rules we all did.”1

        • You use the word “treason” for someone simply exercising his first amendment rights – that thing that soldiers actually fight and die for?! … and yet: Trump’s collaboration with and invitation to and constant communication with Russia throughout the election – all while they used espionage and other methods to successfully undermine our nation’s very sovereignty. This is t r e a s o n and should be treated as such. Further the election should be thus null and void, especially considering how close it was and that he lost the popular vote and a new election should be held. Our nation could be saved from such a crises of democracy however if the electoral college simply puts someone else as a our president and they undoubtedly should.

        • Kealaula, your hope of finding refuge for Traitor Kerry in Snopes is a dog that won’t hunt.

          The Swift Boat Veterans For Truth blew the whistle on this turn coat for all to see. That is why he lost to Bush a dozen years ago.

          As luck would have it, yours truly was on the rivers and waterways before, during, and after Traitor Kerry’s brief grandstanding, self aggrandizing medal swoop in the delta and I can tell you for a FACT that his testimony before Fulbright’s committee was a pack of politically motivated lies.

      • Anyone can read John Kerry’s testimony from his service in Vietnam or listen to him in his own voice on youtube. He earned a Bronze Star, a Silver Star and three Purple Hearts, but his service is disrespected for political advantage.

        An excerpt from his testimony, which I hope everyone here will search, read or hear, and remember:

        “Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn’t have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can’t say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won’t be, and these are his words, “the first President to lose a war.”

        We are asking Americans to think about that because how do you ask a man to be the last man to die in Vietnam? How do you ask a man to be the last man to die for a mistake?….We are here in Washington to say that the problem of this war is not just a question of war and diplomacy. It is part and parcel of everything that we are trying as human beings to communicate to people in this country – the question of racism which is rampant in the military, and so many other questions such as the use of weapons; the hypocrisy in our taking umbrage at the Geneva Conventions and using that as justification for a continuation of this war when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners, all accepted policy by many units in South Vietnam. That is what we are trying to say. It is part and parcel of everything.

        An American Indian friend of mine who lives in the Indian Nation of Alcatraz put it to me very succinctly. He told me how as a boy on an Indian reservation he had watched television and he used to cheer the cowboys when they came in and shot the Indians, and then suddenly one day he stopped in Vietnam and he said, “my God, I am doing to these people the very same thing that was done to my people,” and he stopped. And that is what we are trying to say, that we think this thing has to end.

        We are here to ask, and we are here to ask vehemently, where are the leaders of our country? Where is the leadership? We’re here to ask where are McNamara, Rostow, Bundy, Gilpatrick, and so many others? Where are they now that we, the men they sent off to war, have returned? These are the commanders who have deserted their troops. And there is no more serious crime in the laws of war. The Army says they never leave their wounded. The marines say they never even leave their dead. These men have left all the casualties and retreated behind a pious shield of public rectitude. They’ve left the real stuff of their reputations bleaching behind them in the sun in this country….

        We wish that a merciful God could wipe away our own memories of that service as easily as this administration has wiped away their memories of us. But all that they have done and all that they can do by this denial is to make more clear than ever our own determination to undertake one last mission – to search out and destroy the last vestige of this barbaric war, to pacify our own hearts, to conquer the hate and fear that have driven this country these last ten years and more. And more. And so when thirty years from now our brothers go down the street without a leg, without an arm, or a face, and small boys ask why, we will be able to say “Vietnam” and not mean a desert, not a filthy obscene memory, but mean instead where America finally turned and where soldiers like us helped it in the turning.”

        • Each day to facilitate the process by which the United States washes her hands of Vietnam someone has to give up his life so that the United States doesn’t have to admit something that the entire world already knows, so that we can’t say that we have made a mistake. Someone has to die so that President Nixon won’t be, and these are his words, “the first President to lose a war.”. . . .when we are more guilty than any other body of violations of those Geneva Conventions; in the use of free fire zones, harassment interdiction fire, search and destroy missions, the bombings, the torture of prisoners,

          Thank you for reprinting these out right lies.

          Kerry should have been brought back on active duty, indicted, awarded a General Court, found guilty, and put to death before a firing squad. Instead Jimmy Carter is suspected of white washing his dishonorable discharge when he gave a free pass to all the draft dodgers who slithered out of the US when the call to arms sounded and went north to Canada.

          As for Nixon, he and the troops he commanded won the “splendid little war” in Vietnam that JFK ignited to distract public opinion from the dog’s breakfast he had made of foreign policy in Cuba (twice), Vienna (where Krushchev accurately sized him up as such a loud mouthed punk kid in WAY over his head he decided to put MRBMs in Cuba), Laos and Tibet. And a good thing Nixon did because neither JFK – – the worst president we ever had, even worse than the CURRENT occupant of the White House) – – nor LBJ had the first clue how to wage (let alone) win that war.

          Let me make this absolutely clear for you: Nixon won the war in 1972, – – dragging Le Duc Tho kicking and screaming to the Paris peace accord document and forcing him to sign it – – by doing what JFK COULD have done in 1962 but for the yellow belly cowardice of this spoiled brat son of a rich bootlegger the sugar daddy who had purchased said son’s suspiciously razor thin 1960 “victory” with plenty of walking around money in places like West Virginia, Texas and Chicago.

          Never ever forget, it was KENNEDY who ignited this very war that the traitor Kerry so blatantly exploited.

          Again, thank GOD for the Swift Boat Veterans who wielded the sword of TRUTH to lay waste to Kerry’s presidential ambitions.

      • Doncha just LOVE it when chest thumping hypocrite who never served a day in their life, not even as a REMF, has the chutzpa to criticize anyone else because that person did not serve in combat?

      • Yo! NanakuliBoss!

        The question hangs in the air.

        Did YOU serve in Vietnam?

        Anywhere?

        In war or peace?

        Ever?

        If the answer to these questions, as suspected, is ‘no’, then you have no standing to criticize anyone else who, for whatever reason, did not serve.

    • This stink from the Trump Tower is very offensive. Drain the Swamp,lol. Look at all the $$$ ceo’$ being chosen. Nope, can give trumf a chance. His picks prove he’s way over his hair sprayed head.

      • If President Elect Trump – – gosh, I love to write that – – does succeed in draining the swamp, hope you like swimming in the torrent going down the drain hole along with your fellow consumers of the sour grape.

        • The biggest enemy to GOP Congress will be trumf himself.A micromanaging maniac he will insist on being making ALL the decisions. He never ever trust anyone. He only trust Putin, his ally.

        • lol, The Donald draining the swamp? What makes you think that? He is just replacing it. Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Are you in for a surprise when you find out that conflicts of interests now control Washington. I think even you might miss the old swamp.

        • You are right about that Nanakuli. The funny thing is it will not be long before the Donald’s policies conflict with many republicans. Republicans may soon wish they had Hillary as president.

        • Boots says: Republicans may soon wish they had Hillary as president.

          Watching pretentious prognosticators like you convulse your selves like pretzels to avoid seeing the plain truth as to WHY Felony-Shrillary lost SO BADLY to so unlikely a candidate for POTUS – – indeed are now doing back strokes in the swamp that PRESIDENT Trump will soon begin t drain – – looks to be a source of some long running, side splitting, knee slapping entertainment for NORMAL people that will put “Laugh In”, Monty Python, and SNL all to shame.

          In this context folks like you would do well to take a gander at this to see what awaits you over the next four to eight years:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pE5L_kFlt3k&sns=em

      • Exactly. Goldman Sachs, Exxon, one after another. Yesterday Rep Johnson of Texas introduced a bill to reduce Social Security payments by 12-35% rather than raise the cap that prevents people earning over 90,000 a year from paying into Social Security like the rest of us do. This follows last week’s promise to gut Medicare.

        But the trump fans still think he’s going to help them.

        Bright side, when they do figure out what’s going on, he will be the target of their wrath.

    • To those who are gloating and insulting others after their “victory”:

      Think about WHY Russia (our enemy) helped Trump win. (What’s your answer?)

      It’s not a gloating situation. You can’t make America great if half the people are fighting the other half.

      • Peace. You can’t make a deal unless you know the players. As far as Russia having sway on the election the Demmies are at fault for having their secure server in Hillary’s basement. Lock her up.

      • Yo!

        Mega-monkey!

        There is no gloating and insulting others going on, on the part of the victors. Totally unnecessary.

        You sorry losers of the sour grapes persuasion are doing ALL of the heavy lifting infantilizing yourselves with your petulant little spoiled brat temper tantrums.

        Do you have the slightest clue how amusing you are?

      • Maybe former KGB Putin interfered with our election to elect Trump because he finds Donald Trump so personable.

        Or maybe it’s because he wants to destroy the US, like the Soviet Union was destroyed. Maybe it’s because he wants us to leave him alone while he continues to take over other sovereign nations. Maybe he prefers the person who doesn’t understand NATO and our commitments and can’t be troubled to LISTEN TO HIS OWN SECURITY BRIEFINGS. According to today’s Washington Post, has now declined all but two security briefings since he was elected.

        Do any of the trump fans here think we have enemies? Do you think they have taken notice?

        All these trump supporting guys can do is dishonor Kerry and Clinton in their attempt to shape public opinion and rewrite history. The man earned three purple hearts, a silver star and a bronze star. Despite the shameful ridiculing of his service by the republicans, John Kerry deserves respect for his service and for protesting when he came home. He volunteered to serve and he along with the rest of the guys were calling for an end to a very bad war that we had already lost. Now we can hear the Johnson tapes and understand that Lyndon Johnson knew this years before the fall of Saigon in 75.

        Google John Kerry Vietnam testimony or go to the Vietnam Veterans against the war or find it on youtube.

        “We who have come here to Washington have come here because we feel we have to be winter soldiers now. We could come back to this country, we could be quiet, we could hold our silence, we could not tell what went on in Vietnam, but we feel because of what threatens this country, not the reds, but the crimes which we are committing that threaten it, that we have to speak out….

        In our opinion and from our experience, there is nothing in South Vietnam which could happen that realistically threatens the United States of America. And to attempt to justify the loss of one American life in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos by linking such loss to the preservation of freedom, which those misfits supposedly abuse, is to us the height of criminal hypocrisy, and it is that kind of hypocrisy which we feel has torn this country apart….”

        • Kealaula says: … dishonor Kerry … in their attempt to shape public opinion and rewrite history. The man earned three purple hearts, a silver star and a bronze star. Despite the shameful ridiculing of his service by the republicans, John Kerry deserves respect for his service and for protesting when he came home. He volunteered to serve and he along with the rest of the guys were calling for an end to a very bad war that we had already lost. Now we can hear the Johnson tapes and understand that Lyndon Johnson knew this years before the fall of Saigon in 75.
          .

          Despite the shameful ridiculing of his service by the REPUBLICANS?

          It was the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth – – his former squadron mates who knew what an outrageous self aggrandizing phony he was (and is) – – who ended any chance of Kerry’s electoral victory over Bush.

          None of the timid triumvirate – – JFK, MacNamara, LBJ had the first clue how to wage, let alone win, the war they played at. Nixon in fact WON that war and that is what drives the Camelot-addled saps berserk. As for what happened in 1975, those seeking the truth (which lets you out) would do well to read Bruce Herschensohn’s riveting account of what ACTUALLY happened: “An American Amnesia: How the U.S. Congress Forced the Surrenders of South Vietnam and Cambodia”.

  • He has diplomatic experience. Cutting dirty deals with Communist Russia and even being awarded a medal from Putin. All for dirty oil and money. Mo wonder trump doesn’t want Obama to investigate RUSSIA. USSR. KREMLIN.

        • Do you have an electric car? We used to have one but we turned it back in after the 3 yr lease as they wanted more to buy it. We plan on getting the new Bolt as that will have double the range. 200 miles. An electric car sure beats a gas powered car. I did not miss having to stop at a gas station.

        • A mere two hundred miles???

          Pshaw!

          More than four decades ago I had a low riding, mid engine, four cylinder roadster with a sixteen gallon fuel tank that could go more than 550 miles while cruising in 5th gear @ circa 75 mph before needing a re fill.

          Hydrocarbon fuels cannot be beat when it comes to the kind of motoring excellence Americans have come to expect over the last century.

          Not until there is a major breakthrough in battery technology, nowhere in sight right now, will the funny little electrics be able to compete with REAL cars in terms of either price or performance.

        • In your rant about “dirty oil” and praise for electric vehicles you seem to have forgotten what powers the grid upon which the electrics rely.

          How convenient.

        • The US government did so many things to knock down the price of oil: The motivation was to punish Russia.

          We juiced production out of Iraq, then lifted sanctions from Iran. We may have encouraged the Saudis to participate in over production. At the Paris accord, more than 500 institutions agreed to sell their investments in fossil fuels. There are probably many more actions taken that are tough to notice.

          The point is that the past administration caused a lot of this, but the new administration has a different attitude.

        • Willi thinks the train is like the one his Mom put under the Christmas tree for him. Just plug it in and watch it go round and round. No idea of where the power comes from. Reminds me of the old term numb nuts.

  • Big question. Will these billionaire appointees walk away from their multi million dollars annual wages? Will they sell their stocks and interest in conflicts of interest? If not they will constantly be under fire and nothing will get done.

    • nothing will get done ????.

      And aren’t you one of those chest thumping political prognosticators who predicted with absolute certainty that President Elect Trump had absolutely zero chance of [1] winning the GOP nomination and [2] winning the election?

      Looks to me like you are whistling past the grave yard, Skippy.

    • nothing will get done ????.

      John McCain is a reckless screw up. He would have been tossed out of USNA – – hell, probably never even been seriously considered for admission – – had he not had two distinguished flag officers in his lineage.

      And his performance as Navy aviator is nothing much to write home about given the number of aircraft he crashed.

      As for his “heroism” in refusing the offer of early repatriation by the anti-war peacenik visitors to Hanoi, there really was no choice to be made. Had he come home early and left his mates to rot in Hao Lo Prison, he would have had to kiss his political future and posturing for the “news” media goodbye.

      As a senator he has demonstrated the same reckless lack of good judgment time and time again. Having failed to win the presidency in 2008 – – because of his reckless lousy judgment in “suspending” his campaign at the last minute to go to the White House where he made a fool of himself and gave Obama the perfect platform to look presidential – – he makes himself look petulant and ridiculous sniping at President Elect Trump for succeeding where he so miserably failed.

      Way down deep, this guy is a light weight. The people in Arizona deserve better.

  • The country is in a lot of danger. No hyperbole. No trolling. The reality is, if Russia was indeed attempting to steer the presidential election in our country, it is an act of a hostile sovereign nation. No different from sending warships off the coast of a country to influence their government with gunboat diplomacy. We cannot talk about it. We don’t want to mention it, because we live in tremulous times. We are more worried about stock prices and enriching a few people than the security and safety of our country and its people. People who wanted change may get just that.

    • Just in case, I happen to know a couple of Russian words:

      Friend = “droog”
      Thank you = “spasibo”

      We may just have to use those words a lot. Auwe (Hawaiian for “that sucks”).

    • It’s not the income. It’s his ownership of assets.

      He needs to divest himself of all his assets that can prevent a conflict of interest. Or even the appearance such has his children having ownership of his former assets.

      Remember we’re talking here about Clinton’s husband being on the board of directors of a non-profit. That should apply equally well to Republicans.

      There should be no double standard.

  • The State position pays nothing compared to Exxon. None of his appointees have nothing to gain except to serve their Country. They are all successful people in their endeavors. If Hillary Clinton was qualified then just about anyone would do.

    • The climate is not beholden to any “treaty” or any other scrap of paper.

      Nature does not depend on mere Man for anything, Skippy.

      It is the other way around.

      I guess one has to go to college or university to learn how to be so s t u p i d as to attempt to deny something this obvious.

  • Way to pick a lede, SA. Missing any key points? The person in the US closest to Putin? The NYT lede for the front page article by Sanger, Haberman and Krause reads:
    “Exxon Chief Is Expected Pick for Secretary of State”

  • NYT and AP,two Non-credible News agencies!
    ……..I like the pick,but it is NOT etched in stone yet! So take it easy guys! Let’s wait for the official word (on “Social Media”),from President Trump himself.

    Favorite quote: “Wouldn’t it be Great to finally get along with the Russian people?” By:Pres.Elect. DJT….. I concur!

    ….remember now?The Democrats have tried for years and Failed. “Big League”! And if President Trump pulls it off?They’ll be plenty of “Humble Pie ” on the buffet table!Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

    Aaaaaaaahhhhhhhh! Kinda gives you that warm President Reagan feeling all over again! I like it!

    I am very satisfied with President Elect Trump’s picks thus far…… Which in my mind is a “Total Reverse” of the Failed Obama administration and his top Cabinet picks. OMG! lol

    Also,I wouldn’t worry too much, about the concerns of the “Two Amigos” ,such as John McCain and “Little Marco” Marco Rubio….. Who have their own opinions…like we’re really listening to them.Haaaaa!
    Career Politicians have become less and less influential these days,especially with who President Trump picks for his cabinet! “Career Politicians” who’ve been dishing us their Baloney to us for years. It’s time now ,for a Real Take Charge person! Like President Trump.& let’s “Drain The Swamp”.

    I digress…….
    This pick may come into fruition later this week,if it does? At least I’ll have the satisfaction that Ambassador John Bolten will be on the same team, (as deputy SOS) using his expertise,influence and mastery in foreign affairs. He will indeed be an excellent mentor, guiding “T”….Rex Tillerson.IMUA

  • Pew Charitable Trust released a study of approval ratings during transition period for last five Presidents with ratings for a) explaining their policies and plans and b) their cabinet choices.

    Bush 65/59
    Clinton 62/64
    Bush 50/58
    Obama 72/71
    Trump 41/40

    • Like the late Jim Nabors a.k.a. Gomer Pyle USMC used to say: Surprise!, Surprise!, Surprise! The Pew Charitable Trust is another very wealthy way to the left organization. So it’s no wonder their “study” of approval ratings has Barry Hussein riding high and Trump in the basement. You may want to consider changing your handle to bsspreader. You need to get your nose out of Media Matters and likeminded progressive yellow journalism websites before you completely lose it.

    • IRT bsdetection: So even though they are a “very wealthy way to the left organization”, they seem to have given BOTH Bushes a favorable rating compared to Trump, if they were indeed FAKE why didn’t they just give ALL the Republicans a rating like Trump?

      To see it from another point of view, did they just HIKE up the Democrats approval ratings while leaving the Republicans at their “True” ratings? #MAGA

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