News Release

Trump State Dept: A Cross Between Exxon and NeoCons?

AP reports: “President-elect Donald Trump moved closer to nominating Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his secretary of State on Saturday. … Trump’s team has discussed bringing [John] Bolton [former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under George W. Bush] on as a No. 2 to Tillerson.”

STEVE HORN,  steve [at] desmogblog.com, @SteveAHorn
Horn is an investigative journalist and writer for DeSmogBlog.com. He said today: “Trump has made it clear via his cabinet appointments that energy, and specifically the promotion of climate change-worsening fracked oil and natural gas, will be central to the ethos and mission of his administration. In this way, it’s a continuation of the Obama Administration’s ‘All of the Above’ energy policy, but with a twist: people who actually work directly for the industry may have a seat at the Cabinet table meetings.

“Rex Tillerson, the CEO of ExxonMobil and former chairman of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Petroleum Council, is a case in point as the probable President-Elect Trump choice of U.S. Secretary of State. So too is Rick Perry, the former Governor of Texas and chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission (IOGCC), who is Trump’s current top choice as U.S. Energy Secretary. Perry sits on the board of directors of Energy Transfer Partners, the owner of the Dakota Access Pipeline. Both of them are also climate change deniers and in the case of Exxon, funded the climate change denial machine to the tune of $33 million between 1998-2014. As the old adage goes, ‘personnel is policy.'”

JIM LOBE, jlobe [at] starpower.net, @lobelog
Lobe is an investigative journalist specializing in foreign policy, is regarded as a leading expert on the “neo-conservative” movement and is founder of LobeLog.com, which recently tweeted: “Bolton has urged attacking Iran so often for so many years that he can’t retreat now. Confirmation will likely be a referendum on war.”

On Friday, in response to charges allegedly made by the CIA of Russian intervention in the U.S. election, Trump released a statement: “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction.” But in 2002, Bolton was quoted by the BBC: “We are confident that Saddam Hussein has hidden weapons of mass destruction and production facilities in Iraq … there is no doubt that Saddam is a threat to the region and needs to be disarmed.”

See Bolton’s profile on RightWeb: “Bolton is a notorious foreign policy hawk whose track record includes “pushing regime” change in Iran and bombing its nuclear facilities (in effect, going to war), supporting the invasion of Iraq, and opposing major arms control agreements. He has long dismissed the legitimacy of the United Nations and other international institutions. In one famous speech, Bolton declared, ‘If the UN secretary building in New York lost ten stories, it wouldn’t make a bit of difference.’ He dismisses international treaties as nonbinding ‘political obligations.'”

Also see RightWeb profiles of Michael Flynn: “Trump’s National Security Adviser is facing intense scrutiny for promoting conspiracy theories and fake news items, as well as for his consistent attacks on Islam, which he calls a ‘quote-unquote religion’ and a ‘vicious cancer.'” Also, Flynn’s co-author Michael Ledeen (“known for making outlandish claims about Middle East affairs”, and James Mattis: “Trump’s nominee for Pentagon chief has a well-known penchant for talking about why he likes shooting people but he also has some important differences with the president-elect, like frowning on torture and seeing Russia as a threat.”