Image 01 Image 03

Rubio Tears Into Rex Tillerson During Confirmation Hearing

Rubio Tears Into Rex Tillerson During Confirmation Hearing

Tillerson refused the bait.

Meow. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) came out with the claws during the hearing for former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, President-elect Donald Trump’s choice for secretary of state.

Rubio started by asking Tillerson if he considers Russian President Vladimir Putin a war criminal. Tillerson, who ran a company that had many deals with Russian STATE OWNED companies, refused to take the bait:

“I would not use that term,” Mr. Tillerson said.

Here’s the exchange:

“So based on all this information and what’s publicly in the record about what’s happened in Aleppo and the Russian military, you are still not prepared to say that Vladimir Putin and his military have violated the rules of war and have conducted war crimes in Aleppo,” asked Rubio.

“Those are very, very serious charges to make and I would want to have much more information before reaching a conclusion. I understand there is a body of record in the public domain, I’m sure there’s a body of record in the classified domain. And I think in order to deal with a serious question like this…,” Tillerson was said before Rubio interjected.

“Mr. Tillerson, what’s happened in Aleppo is in the public domain, videos and the pictures are there,” said Rubio.

“I would want to be fully informed before advising the president,” said Tillerson.

Rubio replied, ‘There is so much information about what’s happened in Aleppo…there’s so much information out there, it should not be hard to say that Vladimir Putin’s military has conducted war crimes in Aleppo.

Okay, I admit that like most people, I felt outraged Tillerson would not admit Russia’s role and the anger boiled more when Rubio listed the travesties caused under Putin’s watch. But I’m also very close to the subject.

After a cool down, a friend reminded me that Tillerson could not and would not agree with Rubio’s assessment no matter how much evidence Rubio threw at him.

If Tillerson said yes, he would effectively admit that ExxonMobil is in business with a war criminal. Yes, technically, Exxon has deals with Rosneft, but it is state owned and if you don’t think Putin isn’t behind the scenes pulling the strings, you’re not paying close enough attention.

I covered this over at Breitbart when Exxon executives traveled to Moscow to sign the deals after the Treasury Department passed sanctions against Igor Sechin, the CEO of Rosneft, who is often called Putin’s right hand man. I went into depth about how the Kremlin toppled those in charge of Rosneft to bring it into state control and it was not pretty. Putin also creepily stood behind Sechin when he signed the documents to seal the deal.

Tillerson stating he considers Putin a war criminal could have caused problems. Tensions have already increased since the election with accusations of Russia interfering with our election and Trump supposedly wanting to be besties with Putin.

Can you imagine what would happen if Tillerson said yes? The media is already hungry to cause rifts in Trump’s administration before it even happens and Rubio basically tried to hand feed it to them.

In the third round, Rubio backed off a bit:

“I have no questions about your character, your patriotism. You don’t need this job, you didn’t campaign for this job,” he told Tillerson. “But I also told you when we met that the position you have been nominated to is, in my opinion, the second most important position in the U.S. government.”

Rubio added, “You gave the need for a lot more information in order to comment on some of these. I understand that, this is a big world and there’s a lot of topics; these are not obscure areas.”

Tillerson reminded Rubio that they are both on the same sides, even if they take different approaches:

“Our interests are not different, senator,” he said. “There seems to be some misunderstanding that somehow I see the world through a different lens. I do not.”

But Mr. Tillerson said he was “also cleareyed and realistic about dealing in cultures” that are unlike that of the United States.


Donations tax deductible
to the full extent allowed by law.


Is this the Marco Rubio who lost his home state GOP Presidential primary to President-elect Trump?

Enough said…

Wouldn’t Tillerson’s refusal to openly proclaim Putin a war criminal before he is even sworn into office be termed “diplomatic”?

Can’t have a Secretary of State that’s diplomatic, can we Senator?

Rubio is a nasty little grandstander. He knows damn well that these things are not black and white. Using drones probably makes Øbama a war criminal. Get over it, Rubio. Your time has come … and gone.

Rubio isn’t up for military service. I can’t respect a man who’s willing to start a fight when he won’t have his own skin in the game.

Our forefathers would go to the front lines during battle. Actually GO. Rubio wouldn’t do that.

In that exchange, Tillerson showed that he had the moxie to be a great Secretary of State. For that, I thank Senator Rubio.

Rubio displayed in the course of his day job, i.e. working at what he has been hired to do rather than during the heat of a campaign, his shallow pettiness and how little he brings to the process of “advise and consent” (to use the term bandied about so frequently, carelessly, and recklessly, today). Contrast this with Ted Cruz’s comments from the witness table in support of Tillerson where he absolutely roasted Democrats who were, in all likelihood, too ignorant to be embarrassed.

We have enough Democrats, Marco. We all get Putin is bad. So is China, Iran, Pakistan, Cuba, the list goes on and on. Stop carrying water for Schumer, McCain and Graham. The Gang of Eight almost sank you last time.

If you really have legitimate concerns, do not grandstand in a hearing but ask Tillerson and Trump privately. It is called Advise and Consent. How about focus on the first term first. You would probably gain more and it would be better for the GOP and more importantly the Country.

I thought Tillerson actually did quite well yesterday. He was not my first choice for SoS, but then again I am not President Elect. Memo to Little Marco, neither is he.

Its like a little puppy dog barking at the moon.

    userpen in reply to mailman. | January 12, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    I could have written that.
    Well I could.
    Almost I could.
    Maybe not quite as good, but I could have written…
    Well it would have been…
    I could have…

    Oh, damn you Mailman! You deliver!

With respect to the current situation in the middle east: American policies over the last years have effectively ruined our ability to have any major influence over the course of events there. We have simply abdicated our position for far too long, and now it would cost far too much in money and American lives to get it back. And of course, given the lingering bad feelings over the Iraq intervention of the Bush years, I cannot see us having the collective political will to ever get heavily involved in that snakepit again.

This isn’t a statement of how I would necessarily like things to be, but it is a statement of how things are, and how things are very likely to continue into the future.

SO – what does this mean for the region? It means that while Isis still exists as an agent of chaos, they are on the decline, and the region is going to be increasingly dominated by the 3 major players left – Iran under Khamenei, Turkey under Erdogan, and Russia under Putin. By any honest definition, all 3 of these men are war criminals. (I leave Assad out because he’s become nothing but a puppet whose strings are pulled at different times by all 3 of these powers. Assad could disapear tomorrow and nothing would change.)

But America is stuck – we no longer have the power to do very much to influence events there. We gave that up, and we’re not going to get it back. So, in order to even try to protect American interests, we are going to have to attempt to play nice with at least 1 or 2 of these powers. Not to the extent of actually assisting them, but at least avoiding the deliberate antagonizing of all of them at the same time. I personally think Iran is by far the most dangerous of the 3, because they are the most radical. Erdogan and Putin are simply old school dictators, which doesn’t make them good, but does make them easier to deal with rationally.

We don’t say that Taiwan is the official and legitimate government of China, because to say that would probably start a war we really don’t want. This is the same kind of thing.

    Tom Servo in reply to Tom Servo. | January 12, 2017 at 11:13 am

    To add a thought to my post, I think that future events in the middle east are going to get more and more amazing and disturbing. As I said, I believe the only real military powers left in the region answer to Erdogan, Khamenei, and Putin. I sympathize with the Kurds, but like always, I don’t see them doing much better than Poland did in the 18th and 20th centuries – too many enemies to survive in one piece. I leave Israel out because Israel has no interest in conquest – they just want to be left in peace and have security. I suspect they will get it, because the real prize in the middle east has never been Israel, it has always been the oil. That’s what all 3 major powers really seek to control, and everything else is just window dressing.

    History tells us that even though dictators may at times cooperate with each other, they never cooperate for long. 20th century example, Hitler and Stalin, and in the middle east the examples of this run all the way back to the Battle of Kadesh.
    Erdogan, Putin, and Khamenei all want the same thing, and as long as we manage to stay out of their way, they are all going to go after each other. Because they have to, because none of them are willing to lose influence to the strongman on the other side of the fence.

      Anonamom in reply to Tom Servo. | January 12, 2017 at 11:37 am

      Excellent post(s), Mr. Servo. I agree with your assessment that the region is the place to watch, but I think we need to focus more on Iran and the “Stans” (so to speak) than our traditional focus, which seems to be protecting Israel and appeasing the Saudis. I fear that what we are seeing in the rise of the new, radically Islamic, Persia. While no fan of Putin, I recognize that he (and his nation) are in a pretty precarious position.

      userpen in reply to Tom Servo. | January 12, 2017 at 2:51 pm

      “History tells us that even though dictators may at times cooperate with each other, they never cooperate for long.”

      Looks like there’s some type of mechanism at work, Mr Servo.

      mariner in reply to Tom Servo. | January 12, 2017 at 8:24 pm

      …Israel has no interest in conquest – they just want to be left in peace and have security. I suspect they will get it, because the real prize in the middle east has never been Israel, it has always been the oil.

      Islam was founded on Jew-hatred, and that continues to be the one thing almost all Muslims agree on. It will continue to motivate them even while they jockey for position among themselves.

        JRhaesa in reply to mariner. | January 15, 2017 at 9:28 am

        Relatively minor point, but originally Islam regarded itself as congruent to the Jews, even praying in the direction of Jerusalem. Mohamed regarded himself as God’s prophet to the Arabs just as Moses was a prophet sent from God to the Jews. Originally accepted at face value by Jewish scholars inconsistences eventually led them to discount Mohamed’s story and distance themselves from the Muslim culture and what was in their opinion the false religion of Islam. It was at this falling out point in history that Muslims stopped praying toward the Holy City of Jerusalem and reverted back to praying towards the heathen, idolatress city of Mecca. The two groups have not gotten on well together since. I apologize for not sourcing my comments. They are taken from a well-recognized book on the history of Islam, but it has been a few years since I read it and do not have a copy in my personal library.

TRex showed why is is so successful, how stable and intelligent he is, while little Rubio showed why he lost, and the small, mindless, pettiness he is made of.

buckeyeminuteman | January 12, 2017 at 11:31 am

Rubio really needs to grow some balls and finally admit it. He’s switched parties and is too afraid to say so.

I would still like to know why Rubio thought this was where he should expend his effort… I am not seeing this as a hill to die on and yet he has seemed to want to fight it. Honestly, just baffled by him.

Rubio wants to be president. His approach in the Tillerman hearing is a small block in support of a 2020 primary challenge to Trump if Trump is sufficiently weakened by that time for whatever reason(s). A bit like Corey Booker’s hearing testimony in motivation. Stuff like this is quickly forgotten, but available for later pull-up by campaigns when/if necessary.

    Yes, I agree!

    “Stuff like this is quickly forgotten”

    No, not anymore. The world changed, the internet occurred, and people now have long memories as a result. Words, and video is easily accessible.

      Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | January 12, 2017 at 12:53 pm

      There’s a difference between digitally irretrievable and forgotten. Virtually nothing, of course, is irretrievable, but it’s the nature of the cyclical churn of political news that stuff like this is forgotten until digitally retrieved down the road. If no reason to retrieve it arises, such as Trump not being weakened by 2020, not vulnerable to primary challenge, then it stays forgotten.

      If Trump is weakened by 2020 and Rubio makes signs he’ll challenge, then his own campaign will pull it back up. If Trump is not weakened and Rubio sees no viable primary challenge, there’ll be no reason to ring it back up. Same with the Corey Booker hearing testimony. Big news today, forgotten tomorrow, stays forgotten unless he runs for nat’l office.

      Who is Malcolm Nance, for instance? He was the subject of an LI story just last week and already forgotten by most.

      Also, I try to remember that commenters at blogs like LI are far more attentive to political details than the general voting public. I speak to the behaviors of the general voting public.

        True enough, that commenters see things through a different lens.

        However, IMO, the nature of things have changed. The very people that used to pay little attention, now only have to click a couple times at their computer, to websites that have the info available. I know several people that were very disinterested observers, that now do just that.

        Gang of eight, Rubio, not forgotten. Nor will it be. It’s there for all time, just as an example. That is something that likely would have had little to no effect in the previous age.


          Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | January 12, 2017 at 3:22 pm

          “True enough, that commenters see things through a different lens.”

          I’d change that to stronger rather than different lens.

          O/T – I know you live on Hatteras. You don’t live near the edge, do you? Reason I ask is I saw a reference to Guam in another thread.

          Barry in reply to Barry. | January 12, 2017 at 9:46 pm

          “O/T – I know you live on Hatteras. You don’t live near the edge, do you? Reason I ask is I saw a reference to Guam in another thread.”

          2nd home there, Avon. I do not know what “the edge” reference is however, unless you mean the edge of the ocean. I’m about 300 ft from the water, 2nd row.


          Henry Hawkins in reply to Barry. | January 13, 2017 at 2:58 pm

          Remember Guam? How if residents aren’t careful they could tip it over?

          Barry in reply to Barry. | January 13, 2017 at 4:10 pm

          LOL, Henry. Sorry to say I didn’t get it. Just slow I guess. Got it now though, and I’ll be careful. Not often there when the population swells for the bikini’s and burnt skin crowd, so I’m probably safe.

          🙂 Guam, yea, shoulda got that…

        And if Trump proves to be wildly successful and that translate into widely popular, Rubio’s primary challenger(s) will bring it up in 2022. If he bothers to run.

          Henry Hawkins in reply to gospace. | January 12, 2017 at 3:25 pm

          As Barry pointed out, some things are bad/good enough to remain front and center in everyone’s memory, regardless of political focus, and Rubio’s Gang of Ate nonsense is one of them. Rubio’s dogging of Tillerman, if remembered at all, will pale to nothing in the hot glow of Rubio’s Gang Of betrayal.

The liberal/progressive media has been spinning the Syrian Civil War narrative for years. What everyone chooses to forget, is that the fact that the Syrian Civil War is still raging is because the US violated international law by directly arming Syrian rebels and by direct bombardment of Syria, including a Syrian airbase, housing Syrian troops. The forces which were holding Aleppo, when Syrian troops and Russian warplanes attacked it, were supported and armed by the U.S. of A. The were in armed revolt against the legitimate government of Syria. I’m sorry to say this, but WE own whatever happened at Aleppo.

Syria is a sovereign nation, the current government of which is recognized by the international community and has been for decades. For a nation to directly, or in some cases indirectly, attempt to remove that government, constitutes an act of war. And that is exactly what the US did with regard to Syria. Russia, on the other hand, is acting at the request of the lawful government of Syria to put down a criminal insurrection. So, it would probably be a good idea for US officials to avoid making anything occurring in Syria a big deal.

Look, all of this Russia hoopla is simply a vehicle to attack Donald Trump and salvage the Obama “legacy”. All of these politicians were perfectly satisfied with US-Russia relations, until Trump won the election. Now, Russia is being cast as the Evil Empire and Vladimir Putin as Darth Vader. Seemingly forgotten here is the fact that Global Islamic Jihad is still alive and well and flourishing, especially in the Middle East, that Iran is engaged in actively threatening our warships in international waters and that the Chinese are doing the same in the South China Sea, as well as serial hacking our government computer systems and defense contractors. Ignore these elected pipsqueaks.

Let me address all the hand-wringing going on about Russia and China. Both are competitors of the US. Russian leadership would like to reclaim the territory which was part of the former USSR. Chinese leadership wants to expand its territorial control to Taiwan and reduce the influence of the US in the Far East. But, neither is going to engage in a nuclear war to obtain these goals.

Russia has been very careful to take direct control of territory which the US has no mutual assistance treaties with, or which it can claim to be assisting a legitimate government of. If the US had wanted to stop Russian expansion, it should have been much more aggressive in Georgia in 2008 or in the Crimea in 2014. But, Bush did not want to become engaged in military action, even military support beyond saber rattling, so close to the end of his term and Obama felt no need to intervene in either case. So, WE created a political and force vacuum that the Russian leadership has since exploited.

China is expanding into the same type of vacuum in the far East. But, it is not going to engage in a potential nuclear war to go head-to-head with a determined USA.

Iran has been allowed to flourish under the Obama administration. Unfortunately, the Iranian leadership is much less stable than that of Russia or China. And, anything might happen there. Of further concern is the fact that a nuclear armed Sunni Islamic coalition has emerged in the region to off-set Shiite Iran, because of the vacuum created by the US withdrawal from the region.

I really wouldn’t worry over much about the Russians, right now.

“Rubio replied, ‘There is so much information about what’s happened in Aleppo…there’s so much information out there…”

Like CNN? NBC? NYT? et al. Didn’t Tillerson know he could trust such sources?

Why does Rubio keep trying to get me to lower my opinion of him?

Blaming Russia for “everything” is getting bit tiresome.

Maybe the USA is backing the wrong team in Aleppo?

I have no idea. However, I do know EVERYTHING and everyone involved in the last 8+ years are hostile and suspect players. Including Rubio and most of the Rs.

Trump has a lot of swamp cleaning to do.

A. Lot.

Schumer: “You know what to do today at the hearing, right

Booker: “Right sir.”

Schumer: “And you, Marco?”

Rubio: “Right sir.”

Interesting that Mattis is more Rubio than Tillerson. Innit…???

Florida is ill served by its Senators: Bill Nelson serves George Soros and Marco Rubio serves John McCain.

The Russians know how to play the game…there are no rules in war.

Rubio is simple.

Tillerson managed ExxonMobil. Rubio couldn’t even manage his own checkbook. Sit down and shut up, Gang of Ocho Rubio.

What will Rubio do when he is voted out next election?