WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released the following statement Tuesday after President-elect Donald Trump announced he will nominate Rex W. Tillerson, the president and CEO of Exxon Mobil, to be the 69th Secretary of State of the United States of America:
“The President-elect deserves to nominate individuals he believes will best carry out his agenda and serve our country. But as a separate and co-equal branch of government, the Senate has a Constitutional responsibility to provide advice and consent to the president-elect on this most important Cabinet position, America’s diplomat to the world.
“I am deeply troubled by Mr. Tillerson’s vocal opposition to U.S. sanctions on Russia following its illegal invasion, occupation and annexation of Crimea, Ukraine, and his close personal relationship with Vladimir Putin. Exxon Mobil also has a troubling history with climate science and the environment. Mr. Tillerson has demonstrated he knows the corporate world and can put his shareholders’ interests first, but can he be a respected Secretary of State that puts the national security interests of the American people first? It remains to be seen.
“I also want to know more about Mr. Tillerson’s worldview, because I found many of President-elect Trump’s foreign policy statements as a candidate, and now as the next President of the United States, to be disturbing at best and frightening at worst. And I know many of our allies did and do as well.
“As the Ranking Member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, I look forward to meeting with Mr. Tillerson as I lead my Democratic colleagues through a thorough, thoughtful confirmation process where we will scrutinize his record, experience and qualifications for the job.
“In a world increasingly wracked by gross human rights violations, endemic corruption, brutal conflicts and shifting alliances, I expect Mr. Tillerson to be prepared to answer the Senate’s questions and offer a comprehensive vision of the President-elect’s U.S. foreign policy.”