Former CEO ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for Secretary of State, will face the Senate Foreign Relations Committee today for his confirmation hearing.

You can expect him to face questions about Russia since ExxonMobil has agreed to numerous deals with Russian state companies to drill in the Arctic. Questions will also include topics like climate change and human rights. You can watch the confirmation with us as I live blog.

Tillerson clarifies previous statements to Rubio. Sanctions for cyber attacks are on the table, but he wants to know all options he can use.

Again, Tillerson said you cannot make precise predictions when it comes to climate change, but that doesn’t mean we should not do something about it.

Tillerson points out that a lot of ISIS fighters speak Russian, meaning that Russia has its own Islamic problem. This is very true. There are quite a few fighters from Chechnya.

Tillerson said the situation between Israel and Palestine have to be figured out between the two of them.

Portman asked Tillerson asked about BDS. He said he would treat Israel like a friend. Tillerson also said that countries who support BDS have to know their support shades our point of view of them.

Tillerson doesn’t know of any plans to change the One China policy.

Tillerson doesn’t approve of a blanket rejection of all people from one faith, but some people deserve more vetting than others.

Excellent point from Charlie:

I think Sen. Menendez just compared a wall on the border to the Berlin Wall….

Tillerson said China has violated numerous human rights. Rubio asking about Philippines president’s drug war, but Tillerson said he doesn’t want to rely solely on newspapers.

https://twitter.com/burgessev/status/81926

Once again, the senators keep asking the same questions over and over.

More sanctions questions. Tillerson said he would accept a meeting with intelligence agents tonight to view classified information.

Tillerson said he never personally lobbied against the sanctions and no knowledge of ExxonMobil of doing it either. He explained to the government, though, what sanctions could do to American businesses.

Good for Tillerson. It’s hard to predict just how much human behavior affects climate change.

Now time for climate change questions. I guess he told Sen. Tom Udall (D-NM) that he supports a carbon tax, but tells Udall that policy doesn’t belong to the state department.

Tillerson would recuse himself from any issues involving ExxonMobil. He said as CEO he never directly spoke to the secretary of state, mainly deputies or ambassadors.

Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) encourages Tillerson to actually look at what has happened with Cuba. Flake supported lifting the embargo. I think my former editor Frances Martel would disagree with Flake.

Tillerson is describing ways he has seen programs empower women in other countries, such as Ghana.

Tillerson says that Russia is predictable. They are strategic, have a clear plan, and watch the responses. If they do not receive a response they’ll move on. They want to establish themselves as a world super power.

TILLERSON HAS A POINT. sanctions can harm American businesses.

Marco Rubio time. He asks about the hacking. Tillerson says the report is concerning, but cannot say for sure if Putin ordered it. However says it’s a fair assumption to believe Putin was personally involved. Tillerson reminds Rubio that cyberattacks could happen from any country and the cases must be taken country by country. Tillerson also says that we have no concrete cyber security plan.

Tillerson says that Russia has no claim to Crimea. He supports the NATO action of troops on the border. He said Russia needs to have a forceful response from the opposition. He also supports sanctions, calling them powerful, a first strong step.

Cardin asking about Magnitsky Law, named after Russian Sergei Magnitsky, who reported corruption. He was arrested, tortured, and killed. Tillerson said he respects the law.

Human rights: Must be a priority. Brings up Cuba, pointing out how everything we have done aids the brutal regime and not the Cuban people. We must pay attention to human rights.

Now he brings up Russia. He admits Russia is a danger to us, but they’re not unpredictable. Mentions Ukraine and Crimea and says that the lack of American leadership caused this. basically we underestimated Russia (Can anyone say RESET BUTTON?!!?) and that we must hold Russia accountable for its actions.

Tillerson says America is “the only global superpower” and she has the means to change the world for good. But we must be accountable for our actions or else “we cannot credibly extend it to our friends and adversaries.” America must also hold our supposed friends accountable when they do not keep their agreements, mentioning China’s relationship with North Korea. He also said defeating ISIS must be our top priority in the Middle East. He will also stand up for Muslims who reject radical Islam. “We have to deal with what we see, not what we hope.”

He also wants to take a tougher stand with China, calling them an unreliable partner.

Protester interrupts Tillerson’s opening statement, saying Hurricane Sandy destroyed her home.

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) showed his support for Tillerson as well:

Former Secretary of State Robert Gates gave a statement of support for Tillerson:

Oh, look. More protesters. Except many disruptions like they did to Sen. Jeff Sessions yesterday.