Домой United States USA — Political Rex Tillerson confirmation hearing for secretary of state — live blog

Rex Tillerson confirmation hearing for secretary of state — live blog

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NewsHubLast Updated Jan 11, 2017 11:16 AM EST
Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of state, is testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at his confirmation hearing. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, is the chairman of the panel and Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Maryland, is the committee’s top Democrat.
Rex Tillerson delivers opening statements at his confirmation hearing for secretary of state.
Tillerson said that Mr. Trump has indicated in broad terms during his campaign and in other comments that he believes it’s important that the U. S. does not lightly go into conflicts. The president-elect, Tillerson said, would “seek the engagement of Congress” and “support of Congress” in certain situations abroad and added that it’s “much more powerful when the United States show up with everyone aligned.”
Tillerson said he would want to “keep the status quo until we are able to develop what our approach will be.”
Shaheen also asked if Tillerson would commit to maintaining a U. S. program to support expanded access around the world to quality familiy planning services and reproductive services and ensuring that it’s not conflated with access to abortion. Tillerson said that he understands that the U. S. invests $500,000 a year in those programs, which he said is important, but he didn’t exactly answer her question.
“I think that’s now what we’re witnessing…[the] assertion on their part in order to force a conversation,” Tillerson said about Russia’s role in the global world order.
In what seemed like a surprising statement Tillerson then said, “We aren’t like to ever be friends…our value systems are starkly different.”
Tillerson said that the U. S. needs to move Russia from being an adversary always to being an adversary at times and a partner at times.
Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to become U. S. Secretary of State on Capitol Hill in Washington, U. S. January 11, 2017.
Menendez said that sanctions are one of the most essential diplomatic tools in the U. S. arsenal and he pointed out that while Tillerson said during the hearing that sanctions are a “powerful tool,” his previous comments indicate otherwise.
Asked if he has changed his view on sanctions, Tillerson said, “When sanctions are imposed, they are, by design, going to harm American business.”
He added that sanctions are “a powerful tool” and that the U. S. must design them, target and enforce them well.
Tillerson claimed that Exxon “never directly lobbied against sanctions…not to my knowledge.”
Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, testifies before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U. S. secretary of state in Washington, U. S. January 11, 2017.
“I do not have sufficient information to make that claim,” Tillerson said, adding that sometimes such incidents occur when people speak up for freedom in oppressive regimes. “In terms of assigning specific responsibilities, I would need to have sufficient information.”
“If confirmed, senator, I would want to examine it, all aspects of it,” Tillerson said.
Rex Tillerson tells the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations that he would have reacted to Russia’s taking of Crimea more forcefully than the Ob…
Asked if Putin is a war criminal, Tillerson said, “I would not use that term.”
Rubio began discussing Russia’s bombing of Aleppo and argued that Putin’s government has conducted war crimes in Aleppo, but Tillerson said those were very critical charges that he’d have to look at more.
Tillerson said he has not received any classified briefings yet because he has not received his clearance yet, but that he did read the unclassified report that the intelligence community released last week on Russia’s interference in the election.
“That report clearly is troubling and indicates that all of the actions you just described were undertaken,” Tillerson said.
Rex Tillerson, the former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, testifies during a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing to become U. S. Secretary of State on Capitol Hill in Washington, U. S. January 11, 2017.
“No, sir,” Tillerson said. “That was a taking of territory that was not their’s.”
Cardin said that in Tillerson’s opening statement, he argued that the Obama administration was ineffective in preventing Russia from further encroaching in eastern Ukraine. Cardin asked Tillerson would he would have recommended if he were secretary of state at the time.
“In terms of the taking of Crimea, my understanding is that it caught a lot of people by surprise,” said Tillerson, who then said it was the administration’s weak response after Russia’s taking of Crimea that led to Russia coming across the border into eastern Ukraine.
“I would have recommended that the Ukraine had called its military assets that it had available, put them on the eastern border,” Tillerson said, adding that the U. S. should have supplied them with weapons and offered air surveillance to Ukraine.
Tillerson said that Russian leadership would have understood a “powerful response” such as a more robust supply of U. S. military assets.
“Without question,” Tillerson said.
Cardin asked if Russia falls in that category and Tillerson said, “Yes, sir.”
Tillerson said that he support that Magnitsky law that allows Congress to work to sanction Russia and would comply with that law if confirmed as secretary of state.
“We must also be clear-eyed about our relationship with Russia. Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interests. It has invaded Ukraine, including the taking of Crimea, and supported Syrian forces that brutally violate the laws of war. Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia,” he said.
Tillerson said that the U. S. will try to find common ground with the Russian government, but he also said that the U. S. must hold Russia accountable for its actions.
“Where cooperation with Russia based on common interests is possible, such as reducing the global threat of terrorism, we ought to explore these options. Where important differences remain, we should be steadfast in defending the interests of America and her allies. Russia must know that we will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies, and that Russia must be held to account for its actions,” he said.
“We cannot look the other way at allies who do not meet their obligations; this is an injustice not only to us, but to longstanding friends who honor their promises and bolster our own national security. And we must hold those who are not our friends accountable to the agreements they make,” he said.
He argued that the U. S. must be “honest” about “radical Islam.”
“It is with good reason that our fellow citizens have a growing concern about radical Islam and murderous acts committed in its name against Americans and our friends,” he said. “Radical Islam poses a grave risk to the stability of nations and the wellbeing of their citizens.”
If confirmed as secretary of state, Tillerson said he would ensure that the State Department does its part to support Muslims around the world “who reject radical Islam in all its forms.”
Rex Tillerson, former chairman and chief executive officer of Exxon Mobil, is seated prior to testifying before a Senate Foreign Relations Committee confirmation hearing on his nomination to be U. S. secretary of state, on Capitol Hill in Washington, U. S. January 11, 2017.
“China has emerged as an economic power in global trade, and our interactions have been both friendly and adversarial. While Russia seeks respect and relevance on the global stage, its recent activities have disregarded American interests. Radical Islam is not a new ideology, but it is hateful, deadly, and an illegitimate expression of the Islamic faith. Adversaries like Iran and North Korea pose grave threats to the world because of their refusal to conform to international norms,” Tillerson said.
“As we confront these realities, how should America respond? My answer is simple. To achieve the stability that is foundational to peace and security in the 21st century, American leadership must not only be renewed, it must be asserted.

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