Who Is Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Pick For Secretary of State? [VIDEO]

Who Is Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Pick For Secretary of State? [VIDEO]

Who Is Rex Tillerson, Trump’s Pick For Secretary of State? [VIDEO]

The rumors became fact this morning when Rex Tillerson, Exxon Mobil CEO, was named as Donald Trump’s official choice to be the next Secretary of State.

Rex Tillerson in 2014. (photo: LM Otero/Associated Press)

But short of knowing that he’s the CEO of Exxon Mobil, what else do we actually know about him?

He was awarded the Order of Friendship from Vladimir Putin in 2013, which on the surface, seems fishy.

Until you actually look at the list of people who have received it, and see that it’s more a “thanks for being nice to Russia” award. It’s not quite on the level of the Congressional Medal of Freedom (though after Obama’s last run of honorees, it might be), but it’s the same idea. It’s not the equivalent of getting one half of a “Best Friends Forever” necklace from Vladimir Putin. Yes, there is going to be a lot of explaining to do…
… but the Trump team is planning on pushing back against the Russian narrative.

Tillerson is going to have to explain the difference between being polite and amiable for business purposes, what an actual friendship would look like. It’s not like Tillerson and Putin are taking vacations together. (Of course, to lifetime elected officials, who count money via lobbyists as signs of friendship, this might be difficult to understand.)

Tillerson, interestingly, was not known by Trump before this process. He got on the short list via some big names recommending him.

Those names got him the first interview, and it seems that Trump went on from there.

Mr. Tillerson emerged as a contender on the strong recommendations of James A. Baker III, the secretary of state under President George Bush, and Robert M. Gates, the former defense secretary, according to a person briefed on the process.

Mr. Kushner and Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon, argued strongly for Mr. Tillerson, and the president-elect was intrigued.

Mr. Trump met with Mr. Tillerson for more than two hours on Saturday at Trump Tower in Manhattan. To his aides, Mr. Trump described Mr. Tillerson as in a different “league” than his other options.

Those are some pretty strong names in Tillerson’s court, and it lends a lot of weight to his nomination.

And it seems Trump just connected with Tillerson.

The word that sticks out to me in the press release is “dealmaker.” That is Trump’s love language talking right there. He is all about the deal. If he thinks that Tillerson can deal with Putin and the rest of the world because he’s learned how to do so in business relations, and comes with a big list of well-known names recommending him, then I’m not surprised that he’s being offered the position.

And… the Clintons liked him.

Ouch. I think the narrative just took a right hook to the chin.

We’ve seen Hillary Clinton’s way of dealing with Russia.

We’ve seen John Kerry’s method of dealing with… well, everything.

At this point, could Tillerson be anything but an improvement?

He is a political neophyte, and the confirmation process is guaranteed to be a blistering process. If Tillerson is everything that Condi Rice, James Baker, and Bob Gates says he is, then we’ll see it on full display during that confirmation hearing. And then we the people can get a better sense of the man who just got the job as the nation’s top diplomat.

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