Tags: Bob Corker | Rex Tillerson | Secretary of State

Bob Corker: Rex Tillerson Will Nab Secretary of State Easily

Image: Bob Corker: Rex Tillerson Will Nab Secretary of State Easily

By    |   Friday, 06 Jan 2017 01:30 PM

Despite the controversy surrounding Rex Tillerson, his wealth and relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., predicted on Friday that his bid for secretary of state would be overwhelmingly confirmed by the Senate.

"I predict he's going to be overwhelmingly supported," Corker told a press breakfast in Washington. "I predict people are going to see what a distinguished individual this person is. I predict people are going to see him as the great patriot he is."

He noted that Tillerson was "an Eagle Scout at a young age and with the same company [Exxon Mobil, where he rose to be chairman] 41-and-a-half years."

As to the nominee's insistence that he will release "tax information," but not his tax returns, Corker hit hard at Democratic colleagues.

"Some committees have a tradition like the Finance Committee with the treasury secretary to get the tax return," he said.

"My friends on the other side of the aisle shot a hole in foot with the nuclear option [abolishing the requirement of 60 votes by the full Senate to end a filibuster against any nominee for a position except that of the Supreme Court].

"Now they find themselves in a place they wish they were not. All of a sudden, what's happening in this confirmation process, is because the 60-vote threshold doesn't exist, things are changing."

As for the tax return issue, the Tennessean said that if one gets Democratic senators off the record, "they will clearly state this: This tax return business is about the presidential election. [It is] because the president-elect did not put forth his tax returns. Some will make an issue out of that during the committee hearing and that's fine.

"But when you think about this, [outgoing Secretary of State] John Kerry's wife is a billionaire. She makes Tillerson look like a pauper.

"If you like where his net worth has been generated, it's been at one place for 41-and-a-half years. I've gone through his disclosure. I just don't want Democratic nominees to be under one standard and just because the nuclear option has changed, I don't want to change the standards for Republican nominees."

As to the business Exxon Mobil has done with autocrats in African countries, Corker said:

"Unfortunately, as you know, oil resides in places where autocrats exists. And to further a company's interest, you deal with people. You develop relationships and by the way, you develop trust by always doing what you say when you say you'll do it."

Regarding Putin, Corker assured reporters that "people are going to realize that his views on Russia are not in any way outside the mainstream."

Corker also hinted that Senate Democrats might be pleasantly surprised by Tillerson's views on issues such as climate change.

"Democrats are sitting down with him and realizing this guy's an engineer who believes in science," he said. "So on some of the issues that they care about, I think the answers they are getting are much different than what they thought."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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Despite the controversy surrounding Rex Tillerson and his wealth and relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tenn., predicted on Friday that his bid for secretary of state would be overwhelmingly...
Bob Corker, Rex Tillerson, Secretary of State
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2017-30-06
Friday, 06 Jan 2017 01:30 PM
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