It’s been a little over a month since Donald Trump shook the world with his shocking victory in the presidential election, and the tense days that have followed are not making it any easier to cope with reality. Thus far, the President-Elect has only intensified his opposition thanks to an endless charade of ultra right wing and corporate-minded cabinet appointments.
While most of his selections have been rather questionable, his most recent nomination, that of Exxon Mobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State is perhaps the shadiest of them all. The oil mogul was strongly rumored to be potential pick for the position throughout last week, and now Trump has confirmed those rumors to be true.
Aside from his prominent role at oil giant Exxon, Tillerson has also been accused of having close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Not only has he struck multi-billion dollar deals with Russia’s state oil company Rosneft, but he has also spoken out against sanctions imposed on Moscow. He was even awarded with the Order of Friendship in 2013 by the Kremlin.
Given the recent allegations by the CIA that Russian hackers were potentially responsible for swaying the US election, Tillerson’s appointment couldn’t have come at a more suspect time. But Trump continues to stand by his man, boasting that the Exxon Mobil chief executive is among the “most accomplished business leaders and international dealmakers.”
"Rex Tillerson's career is the embodiment of the American dream," Trump said. "His tenacity, broad experience and deep understanding of geopolitics make him an excellent choice for secretary of state."
The nomination is not only concerning for Democrats, but also for number of Republicans, including John McCain, Lindsey Graham and Marco Rubio. However, the Senate still needs to approve the nomination for Tillerson to get the nod. Not only is it unclear how the choice will impact Trump’s relationship with Russia, but the business interests of Exxon Mobil could prove to be a major conflict of interest.