Just when you thought things couldn’t get any shadier surrounding Donald Trump and his appointees, new information is revealed that is enormously damaging for Trump’s Secretary of State pick, Rex Tillerson.
As the ExxonMobil CEO is getting ready for confirmation hearings for his role as Secretary of State, it has been discovered that his company conducted business with nations who are now considered to be “state sponsors of terrorism.”
According to USA TODAY:
“ExxonMobil did business with Iran, Syria and Sudan through a European subsidiary while President-elect Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of State was a top executive of the oil giant and those countries were under U.S. sanctions as state sponsors of terrorism, Securities and Exchange Commission filings show.”
“The sales were conducted in 2003, 2004 and 2005 by Infineum, in which ExxonMobil owned a 50% share, according to SEC documents unearthed by American Bridge, a Democratic research group…The filings, from 2006, show that the company had $53.2 million in sales to Iran, $600,000 in sales to Sudan and $1.1 million in sales to Syria during those three years.”
Of course, ExxonMobil is saying that all business that was conducted was perfectly legal because it was done under a joint venture with Shell Corporation called Infineum, and was based out of Europe.
However, there’s a letter to Tillerson from 2006 from the SEC that says:
“We have limited our review of the above filing to disclosures relating to your contacts with countries that have been identified as state sponsors of terrorism…”
Hold the phone. The potential next Secretary of State has connections to state sponsors of terrorism. Legal at the time or not, through loopholes, that is sketchy as hell. We simply cannot have our top diplomat canoodling with the enemy and has had past relationships with them.
Needless to say, this is not okay. And Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) who is the “ranking Democrat on the Foreign relations panel,” said he is “deeply skeptical about Mr. Tillerson’s actions as CEO of Exxon that were in direct contravention to express United States policies put in place to secure Americans and our country.”
“Finding loopholes to make lucrative business deals with geo-political adversaries, while showing no clear regard for U.S. national interests, is not a resume builder for a prospective diplomat-in-chief. This is one of the many issues I look forward to hearing more about during the upcoming confirmation hearings.”
Here’s a question, wasn’t Tillerson himself a U.S. citizen working on those deals? Yet he used a foreign company to make it happen. That’s the sort of thing that should put a person in prison. However, for people like Tillerson and Trump, it’s seemingly business as usual. Hopefully, Tillerson isn’t confirmed for the sake of United States security and our best interests at home and abroad.
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