Washington, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) released the following statement opposing former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson’s nomination to serve as President Donald Trump’s Secretary of State:
“Rex Tillerson’s background in diplomacy is limited to corporate deal making, advancing only the interests of Big Oil while the rest of the world is ready to move toward clean and renewable energy. Even more troubling is his refusal to answer questions on Exxon’s decades-long knowledge of climate change, undermining the scientific community’s overwhelming consensus that climate change is real. This is not surprising considering that under his leadership, Exxon continued its long history of spending millions to deny the threat of climate change. We need leaders who recognize climate change is a real threat to our environment, economy, global health and national security. It is clear that Mr. Tillerson will not stand up against President Trump’s belief that climate change is a hoax, nor will he ensure that the United States will remain committed to the global fight against climate change and keep our commitment to the Paris accord.
“Furthermore, following President Trump’s series of divisive, hateful and xenophobic executive orders, the Senate deserves to know where Mr. Tillerson stands on immigration and religious discrimination. This is especially important given his refusal to rule out a Muslim registry during his recent Senate confirmation hearing. Finally, Mr. Tillerson’s business ties with Russia and friendship with Vladimir Putin is deeply troubling; his refusal to back new sanctions on Russia despite our knowledge that it intervened in the U.S. election is just one example of how we cannot trust him to stand up to Putin.
“I do not see how Mr. Tillerson will put the interests of the United States ahead of his loyalty to Big Oil and Vladimir Putin, or uphold our constitutional right to religious freedom. Mr. Tillerson is not the right person to represent the United States around the world as the Secretary of State, and I cannot support his nomination.”