It has come to light that our Secretary of State Rex Tillerson may be compromised, thanks to the New Yorker. It was Vladimir Putin who chose this man as our highest diplomat after vetoing Donald Trump’s choice of Mitt Romney for Secretary of State. No surprise here. After all, Tillerson long had business and personal connections to Russia while the CEO of ExxonMobil. In 2014 Putin awarded Tillerson the Order of Friendship, one of the highest honors Russia gives to foreign citizens.
While the head of ExxonMobile, Rex Tillerson invested billions in Russia’s vast but elusive oil resources through a partnership with Russian oil giant Rosneft. Putin himself attended the signing of the deal in 2011. Apparently Tillerson’s personal relationship with Putin was important to manipulate Trump and American foreign policy. Rex Tillerson is the first secretary of state in modern history who had no experience in any public capacity before he was appointed as our top diplomat.
Let’s again borrow from the Watergate history and “follow the money.” Is half a trillion dollars incentive enough to line the Russians’ pockets and prop up their economy? It was Rex Tillerson who had made a $500 billion deal with Putin that was blocked by Obama’s sanctions on Russia. Trump is not enforcing the sanctions at all. The top priority for Putin and his kleptocratic cronies is to benefit from his rule by enriching Kremlin’s coffers, and their own of course, but this plan have been hurt by the sanctions. Trump’s presidency has already delivered for team Putin in other ways too.
Rex Tillerson is basically dismantling the US State Department, slashing its operating budget while refusing to fill staff and diplomatic posts. American interests are being neglected around the globe as dozens of high level diplomatic and even ambassadorial posts sit empty. A crisis zone in the Korean peninsula is without a U.S. Ambassador to South Korea, while Trump is threatening a nuclear war with North Korea.
This plays beautifully into Putin’s designs for America to weaken us, embarrass us and erode our global influence. If that’s not enough, we learned yesterday that funds allocated to the state department for combatting cyber attacks against our country. A pretty hefty sum of $120 million is just sitting untouched, with zero dollars spent so far to prevent another Russian attack on our elections.
In late 2016, Congress directed the Pentagon to send $60 million to the State Department to counter anti-democratic propaganda by Russia with a further $60 million made available in the last few months, so $120 million bucks! Not one cent has left that account and our Democratic process remains vulnerable and unguarded. It is a dereliction of duty or even arguably a form of treason, given Tillerson close connections to our greatest foe.
Marilyn is an immigrant, artist, painter and writer, passionate advocate for equality and human rights. Loves history, politics and travel. Resident of Colorado.