As a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Delaware’s US Senator Chris Coons will be a pivotal vote in advancing the nomination of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson to serve as Secretary of State.
President-elect Donald Trump has tapped the executive of the world’s largest energy company to lead the State Department, but Coons joins other Democrats and even some Republicans in raising questions about the appointment.
“Rex Tillerson has decades of experience doing business internationally,” said Coons. “Business experience, though valuable, is different from fighting for the interests of United States, which must include fighting for democracy, for human rights, and a free press.”
Coons continued by referencing the Texas-born businessman’s relationships with Russian leader Vladimir Putin. “Given Mr. Tillerson’s long friendship with Vladimir Putin and the President-elect’s flippant dismissal of clear evidence that Russia sought to influence our presidential election, this nomination further calls into question the President-elect’s foreign policy principles. Russia is not a business partner — it is an adversary of the United States working hard to undermine democratic values around the world.”
“I am eager to learn more about Mr. Tillerson’s approach to Russia, North Korea, ISIS, China and many other critical issues that our next Secretary of State will have to face. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee owes it to the American people to conduct thorough, detailed confirmation hearings on Mr. Tillerson’s nomination,” said Coons.