tv Secretary of State Confirmation Hearing Part 2 CSPAN January 12, 2017 12:28am-2:05am EST
fun off the floor as well. graham literally struck up a conversation. on a more serious note, the the meeting today with general james mattis, saying it will be a privilege supporting his nomination. a reminder his nomination is coming up for consideration tomorrow before the senate armed services committee. we will have live coverage beginning over on c-span3. you can follow it on c-span.org or stream it on the c-span radio at. now we will take you back to the hearing from earlier today. tillerson, former ceo before the senate foreign relations committee person eight hours of testimony as he has been nonnative by donald trump to be secretary of state. [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2017] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute,
that we vhave had a little bit of a conversation about this when it comes to lobbying for sanctions, it is my understanding that there is not a lobbying that took place against sanctions, but it is more to go through the details of what those sanctions would do to make sure that they are applied a appropriately across the board, is that correct? >> senator, that is correct. i never lobbied against the sanctions to my knowledge, and exxonmobil never lobbied against the sanctions. participated in understanding how they would be constructed and was asked and provided information regarding how those might impact of american business interests. engagement i had really came after the sanctions were in place. was in the middle of drilling a well and a very remote part of the russian arctic. several hundred miles away from any safe harbor. when the sages went into place, because of the way they were written, it took immediate effect.
there was no grace. , no grandfathering. . -- there is no grace period, no grandfathering period. them there was significant risk to people and the environment, and we were going to comply with the sanctions. immediateance meant evacuation of all of these people, which would put lives at risk. this was a wildcat exploration well that was in a valid very delicate position at the time. it provided a lot of technical information to the state department. was thankful that it took about five days for them to understand that. still whilestood they were in evaluating that. they did grant a temporary license to allow that work to be completed safely so we could get all of the people out of the country and get all of the equipment that was subject to
sanctions out of the country. that was my direct engagement was really dealing with the effect of sanctions. the characterization that we lobbied for sanctions is just not accurate. thank you for your willingness to serve. congratulations for your nomination. how much information do you have about financial connections between president-elect trump, trump family, or organizations and russian individuals or organizations or the russian government? >> i have no knowledge. >> and if i asked you the same question and inserted turkey or other nations would your answer be the same? >> i have no knowledge. >> i gather from your answer you have no way of knowing how actions proposed by president trump by those countries or others would affect his personal or finally financial interests. >> i have no knowledge. >> how are we supposed to judge
the official actions proposed by president trump if we lack basic information about how those actions may benefit his personal finances? >> that's a question others will have to address. >> you are aware that many of the leaders of other countries you dealt with in your capacity as ceo of exxonmobil have used positions of leadership to greatly advance their personal wealth while they were in office, correct? >> i have no direct knowledge of that. >> but you have read they have a mass great personal wealth while in office, correct? >> i'm aware of the press reports. >> do you think that such behavior by head of government is in accord of values of the united states or contrary to u.s. values? >> if the reports are true, and
there has been inappropriate taking of funds that belong to the government and is not provided for under the government's laws, then that would be contrary to our values which are to respect the laws. >> should congress be diligent to make sure that federal officials including the president do not use their positions to amass personal wealth while in office? >> that is the standard in the united states, yes sir. >> without full disclosure, isn't there a chance you might be across the table in a negotiating setting with russian officials who know more about financial exposure than you do? >> not to my knowledge. >> wouldn't that put someone at a disadvantage? >> if it's not to my knowledge it's not going to change the way i'm negotiating with them. >> but if someone on the other side of the table has more knowledge than you do is that not something that could put you at a disadvantage. >> i think as long as the
objective of the negotiation is clear -- what are we trying to achieve -- that is all that matters. achieve the objective, the art of negotiating is how you achieve that objective. we talked about this in my office. there has been a great deal of coverage about exxon mobil's history with the issue of climate change. there was a recent article prepared by the rockefeller family foundation and investigated by an and -- investigative team. there was a three-part series in the los angeles times. inside climater, news did an investigation and produced a nine part series that was a finalist for a pulitzer prize, all on the question of exxon mobil's knowledge of basic climate science. --y include the following
exxon mobil concluded as early as the 1970's that pollution from co2 released by the burning of fossil fuels was affecting the climate and potentially destructive ways. exxon mobil took public positions despite the scientific consensus regarding climate science. outsidebil funded organizations that publicly denied and downplayed and obscured scientific consensus. to the contrary, exxon mobil continues to provide funding if at a lower level to outside groups that denied, downplayed or obscure the scientific consensus. are these conclusions about exxon mobil's history of promoting and funding climate science denial despite its internal awareness of the reality of climate change during your tenure with the company true or for us -- true or false? >> since i am no longer with exxon mobil, i am no longer able to speak on their behalf. >> i'm not asking you on behalf
of exxonmobil. you were with the company for nearly 42 years. for the majority of the time you are with the company in a management position. you became ceo in 2006. i am not asking you on behalf of 2000 data exxon mobil. i am asking you whether those allegations about exxonmobil and decision to fund and promote of you contrary to its awareness of its science whether the allegations are true or false. >> question would have to be put to exxonmobil. >> do you lack the knowledge to answer my knowledge or are you refusing to answer my question. >> a little of both. >> i have a hard time believing you lack the knowledge to answer my question, but that's an editorial comment just like your comment was an editorial comment with respect to refusing my question you talked in my office, you have served your
-- severed year financial ties with exxonmobil correct? >> that is correct. >> are you subject to any confidentiality agreement that continues to be enforced that would limit your ability to talk about the matter i'm asking you about or any other matters concerning exxonmobil. >> let me clarify my first answer, all my ties will be severed if i am confirmed. i spoke too quickly. >> yeah, i understood that. >> to my knowledge i have no such confidentiality agreement in place but i would have to consult counsel. >> i'll file that question for the record and would be curious if there's any existing confidentiality agreement. i want to enter a couple of documents in the record. first a letter 1982, from the director of exxon research company. september 1982, a clear
scientific consensus the climatic effect of co2 the consensus is doubling from its preindustrial would result in an average global temperature rise, there is unanimous agreement in the scientific community this would bring about significant changes in the earth's climate including rain fall distribution and in the atmosphere. it depends on future world conassumption of fossil fuels n. summary the results of our research are in accord of scientific consensus affect on co2 on climate.
we are now ready to present our research through the usual mechanisms of conference presentations and public indications -- publications. there's to attract the news media to the increase of atmospheric co2. in the scientific literature indeed to do otherwise would be a breech of exxonmobil -- for the record. >> i would also like to introduce an op-ed series produced in 2000. i will read the following. geological evidence indicate climate and greenhouse gas levels experience sing never get natural the area ability for reasons having nothing to do with human activity. it is impossible for scientists to attribute the recent small surface temperature increase to
human causes. >> without objection. >> mr. tillerson, i know you're familiar with the phrase resource curse, which countries often find their abundance actually impedes diverse economy, promotes environmental disfoliation, provety and corruption, that's not an iron law but has been a topic since the early 1990s. nations have suffered through this phenomenon, i would say like you to talk as secretary of state where we have a portfolio that helps nations try to raise sustainable economies. how will you work with them to make sure they respect human rights the rule of law and transparency and anti-corruption.
>> good question. succinct answer, please. there's lots of opportunities to strengthen capacities and set standards of expectation in the developing part of the world including those that have resource wealth. >> if i could put one more document from this committee directed by senator luker in 2008 entitled the petroleum paradox to fight the resource curse and has a number of suggestions about the both president and secretary of state and that i believe still has merit and would direct it to the chairman. >> thank you mr. chairman.
thank you mr. tillerson for your presence today. turn to an issue which has received quite a bit of discussion and dialogue today. it is the sanctions that have been in post on russia in the wake of their annexation of crimea. you indicated to me privately and publicly that you had a couple of concerns. a site from fiduciary concerns, maximize profits, concerns with respect to the bill formation of these sanctions, the fact that there was a disparity between the u.s. and eu's sanction regime and didn't believe that sanctions regime would work is that correct. >> i think i expressed the view it was likely to be ineffective. >> ok. i would -- i'm going to give you
an opportunity to explain that in greater detail. in the wake of our private meeting we contacted the constitutional research service and they indicated, i'll submit this report for the record here but that in practice it appears that u.s. and eu sectoral made the distinctions that you made conclude they would be ineffective. >> i was speaking in terms of the sector i was involved in at the time. contain actions grandfathering position -- provision which allowed activity that was already underway in the targeted sanction areas to continue. the u.s. sanctions, there was no grandfathering. in this dialogue that was going on during the development of the sanctions, that was part of the input to the process, both to to pointury secretary
out that there was this gap. it could lead to problems for u.s. interests from two perspectives. one was the operational effect that i just described a moment ago in response to the chairman's question. would putte effect operations that were ongoing at risk. there was that issue. the second was to the extent european activity was in the same sanction areas could continue because they were would put u.s. interests in this particular part of the sector at a disadvantage. could continue to demonstrate its capabilities. our european partners could. it but it risk the possibility that agreements that had been entered into might be terminated. submit this for the record place. >> without objection. >> let me pose a hypothetical.
gets to the heart of the matter trying to separate one's responsibilities, one's incentives as a ceo of a major multinational corporations, coming from a role of the chief diplomat of the united states. assuming something not lacking in implausibility. russia could send troops and weapons into the kiev area. assume further that a well formed sanctions regime is presented to you as secretary of state. finally, assume that that sanctions regime would disadvantage the bottom line of american-based multinationals. would you still propose, would you still advocate that the united states of america advance its national interests by adopting a sanctions regime?
>> >> senator, i think as i've indicated now several times, use of sanction is important and can be powerful tool as long as they're constructed to be effective. in an instance like the example given, i'm sure there will be discussions of all the options but the sanctions certainly will be an important operation on the best option to have on the table for consideration. if that's the option selected i will vigorously support those. >> very good. with respect to the u.s. and eu sanctions it's already been presented to you that there's a possibility of removing those, you indicated for now you believe the status quo should reign in part i'm synthetic to -- and i'm sympathetic to this you indicated you lack , sufficient information, you haven't been read in with respect to classified material, correct? >> that's right.
>> your nomination was announced on december 13th, you have never served in government. until last evening he would not have had a security clearance. would you be willing to receive a classified security brief from our intelligence community this evening assuming we may go into tomorrow with respect to this hearing focused intenty only on -- intently on russia. >> if all the paper is in place ,nd i have been cleared understand it is on file but i have not an -- receive notice yet. >> so you would be willing? >> yes. >> further as the nation's chief diplomat it's really important as we see from the previous administration that this chief diplomats speak with a voice that is perceived to be the voice of the president of the united states, there cannot be space between what you are saying, the policies you are putting forward and those
embraced by our now president elect. he has a history of utilizing to very well-known effect social media, twitter in particular, and some of the president elect's tweets appear to be quickly drafted, not vetted by staff or coordinated with the transition teams senior officials, so this gives pause to me, some concern that in coming months, in coming years, you might not be empowered to serve as the chief diplomat. you would lack credibility. how do you finesse this? how would you ensure that the legs are not cut out from underneath you as the nation's chief diplomat and perhaps you have ideas on this? >> if confirmed, and i am able
to serve this president elect, i don't think i'm going to be telling the boss how he ought to communicate with the american people. that's going to be his choice, but in carrying out and executing and implementing the foreign policy including traveling abroad and i understand your point i'm overseas and it would be my expectation any way the president might choose to communicate through whatever method would be supportive on that policy we both agreed on. >> do you have any contingency plans to address? >> yes, i have his cell phone number. >> ok. >> he's promised me he'll answer. >> and he does. we'll hope for the best there unless you have anything else to had. in your prepared statement you write russia must know they will be accountable to our commitments and those of our allies.
article five of the north atlantic treaty states that an armed attack against one or more member states shall be considered an attack against them all. if putin were to instigate a crimea style invasion of a nato member -- let's say estonia or lockout or lithuania -- do you believe the u.s. should and would honor its treaty obligation to join our allies and defend our fellow nato ally against external invasion? >> article 5 commitment is inviolable and the u.s. is going to stand behind that commitment. >> so yes? >> if that's the consistent feeling of the nato members of article 5, then yes. >> thank you, i yield back. >> senator murphy. >> thank you mr. tillerson for your willingness to serve and as a cub scout leader wearing the uniform last night as i led my wolf den, i thank you for your
service to the boyscouts and your leadership there as well. a comment and a few questions. in your testimony you said that you had not lobbied congress on the issue of sanctions and i guess we flushed out that in your find calling the united states senator to express your belief that sanctions would be ineffective is not lobbying. i would argue that's a distinction without a difference. if you are calling a united states senator on the phone to express your belief that sanctions that would affect your company would be ineffective, that likely constitutes lobbying and 14 different lobbying lobbyingexxon did list on sanctions as part of its political activity. i have a question though on another potential inconsistency.
in your testimony and in your private meetings with us you , spent a lot of time talking about the importance of consistency and clarncy that we in american policy and the need to rebuild that. your response to senator rubio on whether you would support againsty sanctions specific individuals involved in confirmed, verifiable cyber attacks against the united states is fairly extraordinary. the u.s. is under attack. we are under attack by russia, by north korea, by china through these cyber attacks. i'm going to ask you to square how you can have a clear, on preventingicy cyber attacks against the united states when you have said before this committee that you do not
support mandatory sanctions against verified individuals who have committed attacks against the united states because there might be complicated multifaceted relationships with certain countries in which you might want to weigh the attack against the united states with another consideration. how do you do to her cyber attacks against the united states if you send a message that you can get away with it with no sanctions against those individuals, as long as there are other equities at stake? put those two together for me. >> senator, what i was intending to convey is that i need to be fully informed as to what all the opgstions are and i'm not fully informed. -- options are and i am not fully informed. if confirmed it will involve interagency discussions and what all the options are to respond. again this is a symptom in the absence of a clear policy and a
clear strategy i fully appreciate this body and in particular this committee that has these important responsibilities wanting to take action. what i don't know because i've not been allowed or not had the sufficient briefings yet, what are the other potential ways to respond to these types of attacks? and if sanctions are the most effective, then that certainly is what i would support. but i do not know because i have not been briefed what are our capabilities to responding, are there other options to prove more effective and get more immediate change in behavior of whoever is attacking us. i hope i didn't convey or didn't intend to convey that kind of narrow of a response, i was trying to convey this is an extraordinarily complicated threat today and we are being attacked. i don't dispute that statement in any way.
but i also believe we have to look at all the options and tools available to us and sanctions is one of them, it's a powerful tool and i think as i said if in an interagency, that conversation is existing and the conclusion is made these sanctions are going to be the best and most appropriate way to act, then i think the executive would like to have the option -- optionality to make that decision. >> "the new york times", cnn and others are reporting russia has a dossier of very damaging and embarrassing information about the president elect that they have used to influence his views on russian-american policy. this report is as earth-shattering as it is thinly sourced but it was deemed credible enough for our
intelligence agencies to read in both the president and the president elect. i think we all pray it isn't true and i certainly understand you're not in a position to testify to the contents of that report, but let me just ask you some very simple questions. have you been briefed yet on these allegations on this report? >> i have not. >> there's some confusion as to whether the president elect has been briefed can you confirm whether he has been briefed or not. >> i don't know. >> in this report there are allegation that there were specific agents of the trump campaign that communicated between it and russia. have you or exxon had any business dealings relationships with paul manafort or carter page? >> not that i'm aware of. >> can you take that question for the record and get a response to the committee? >> i would be happy to. >> do you believe that u.s. law
enforcement most notably the fbi should seek to determine the accuracies of these allegations? >> i would leave that to the agencies to determine. anif they chose to conduct -- an investigation, with the state department cooperate with that investigation? >> to the extent there is a role for the state department to investigate. >> you talked a lot in your testimony about the importance of setting red lines and then standing by them when you set them. and i want to ask you some questions about it. the president made his red line statement in the context of a press conference and so i just want to get your position right here. you believe statements by american presidents even those made off the cuff are taken by world leaders as statements of u.s. policy, is that correct.
>> in that statement i think it was pretty unequivocal. >> let me give you another unequivocal statement and ask your thoughts. on twitter president-elect trump said that a north koreaen icbm does korea and icbm launch was "not going to happen" that sounds about as clear as a red line as i can figure one out. do you interpret that to be a red line? >> i do not know i would interpret that to be a redline. i can interpret that to mean a lot of things. >> elaborate. >> it will not happen because the [inaudible] i think that is a pretty far extension of that statement to come to some -- to that conclusion.
>> i think many have interpreted it that way. therein lies the challenge when you conduct foreign policy by 140 characters. it is become opaque as to what you mean. i do not think there is much confusion there but that will be a challenge that you will have. finally, i want to drill down a little bit more on the series of questions from senator menendez. he was getting the question about conduct at exxon mobil that directly contradicted american foreign policy in iraq when you made a decision to duel -- do a deal with the kurdish government even when the u.s. government had requested that you refrain from doing such a deal. testifiedn, there is that through subsidiaries or joint partnerships, exxon did work in places like iran, syria, and sudan.
contraryion will sound -- confrontational but i'm in it sincerely. was there any country in the world his record of civil rights was so horrible or whose conduct was so directly threatening to global security or u.s. national security interests that exxon would not do business with it, it was there any line while you were at exxon where you would not do business with a country sudan,hat iran, syria, and russia were on the list of those you would? mr. tillerson: the standard is is it legal, does it violate any of the laws of the united states to conduct business in a particular country and beyond that he goes to the question of the country itself. do they honor contract sanctity, do they have a rule of law, and if they do or do not, are there mitigating actions that can be put in place to protect whatever business activity might be undertaken.
>> on that list is not a question of their record of human rights abuses or u.s. national security interests? mr. tillerson: that could go to contract sanctity, will of law institute -- stability of the country. that is always a judgment as well. >> you cast your remarks and name where it should be. thank you for accepting this challenge and the challenge of sitting for us and answering tough questions. thank you for bringing the u.s. senate to introduce you. for trying for years and that u.s. senate and china -- chaired the armed services committee. non-liquored the initiative. he was the chief advisor to me and other members of the committee on the committee and
helped us to understand what russian capabilities were and how important it was for maintaining this. uses a great testimony to as an individual. you mentioned number of things, i will take them in order quickly and try to ask specific questions. with regard to american leadership being renewed and reasserted because you believe we have to renew our leadership. one of the most interesting places in the world, we are out of the picture is the middle east with regard to aleppo and regard to syria, turkey and iran and russia are sitting at the table as they divide up what is left of syria and its assets, will happen in the future and we are sitting outside. being ask the nominee for the chief negotiating diplomat, what would you recommend to do to get a seat at that table and what former for nude leadership should we exercise to have that leadership respected? first step we the
have to take is reengage with our traditional allies and friends in the area. ,nd reaffirm that we are back we're back with our leadership and we're back with a plan of effect where it event in syria go from here. we cannot do anything about where we are today. theink you described situation accurately. russia, syria, turkey, and iran are dictating the terms of how things are going to play out in syria today. absent our participation. i think it is a re-engagement with our traditional allies, sharing with them where we believe we have to now go in syria. we have to reengage with turkey, this is a long-standing nato ally that in the absence of american leadership he got pretty nervous about his situation and he turned to who is next available, he turned to an ally in russia that is not a sustainable ally.
making clear to him that is not a sustainable alliance. your sustainable alliance is with the u.s. so it is -- the first step is that re-engagement, reinforce what had been long-standing commitments to stability and security in this part of the world. aat includes reestablishing clear statement of how important israel is to us and our national security and the role they play in this region of the world for our benefit as well. after that we will have a plan as to howbe developed we accomplish two things. we have got to protect the innocent people on the ground in syria, people fleeing areas, how do we secure their protection so they are no longer indiscriminately bombed and put canr threat and if that happen, perhaps it could be a stabilization of the outflow of people who are leaving because there is not a safe place to go. as i indicated is
defeat isis. we had two competing priorities under this administration. go and the defeat of isis. carrying both of those out simultaneously is difficult because at times they conflict with one another. defacear priority is to -- defeat isis. we at least create some level of stability in syria which lets us do with the next priority, what is going to be the exit of bishara sod but importantly whate we decide that is needs to happen, we have to answer the question what comes the --hat is going to be can we have any influence over that are not. there are a number of steps and a long road of regaining stability in syria, defeating one of the greatest threats to us which is isis and then determining what is the fate and future of the syrian people and
syria as a nation that will take many steps but it is not going to start until we get reengaged in that region. >> i think it is implicit that we would not be where we are today had we had -- had we not failed at two things. the redline enforce and that is an important thing to understand because we did not renew and assert our leadership. we never changed our i so policy from containment. containment allows them to operate in that area and make it impossible to get to a position where we are today. >> i would agree. familiar with the term the dutch disease? >> i am. that is what senator kaine was referring to. my son wrote his master's thesis -- in thely 1990's in dutch disease. it is what the middle
eastern suffers from. they have an infinite source of wealth in terms of oil and petroleum. they decided not to invest in infrastructure and but there people of with the money they had and had kingdoms and palaces where they lived. had no medicine, they have no educational system, they have no infrastructure. , millennium challenge corporation, those entities were in the state department which would be under your responsibility. where we take our soft power to developed countries and friends and -- at the same time. i am huge supporter of those institutions and seeing those soft dollars invest in helping to build the infrastructure of human life within these countries that do not have it.
isthe use of aid multifaceted in terms of disaster relief and development. one of the most successful programs i have seen is that while lani all challenge corporation because it has ownership on the part of the country. they have to take ownership of the implementation. an advancement of their institutional capacity to get something done. that is where you would hope we could put all these countries on a pathway where they can again to take responsibility and develop the infrastructure and educational systems and the need to meet the needs of their people.
it is a different journey for each of these countries and the use of foreign assistance that we could in make usaid develop programs more like mud on the l recognizing different criteria. it goes to the responsibility of the recipient government and putting some level of criteria where we are promoting capacity to address and look back to the people and address their needs. they are powerful tools and powerful because they project the best of american compassion. are lot of people [inaudible] soft power which all of us prefer if we can use it depends on the concept of joint venture and bringing about the best for people where those resources are. our knowledge of that joint denture process is going to be invaluable as we go through
africa and other developing countries. to use in on him challenge to bring about a reduction in corruption. >> i think we should use that as a way to hold those connections with developing countries around the world and countries that are and beo be on the rise important models to others. to demonstrate it is powerful -- possible to lift yourself out. >> one last question. i am a big supporter of trade. trade is important, it is a weapon we have to use, a soft power weapon and help the u.s. the issue of tpp has been an issue. the president was questionable on tpp but nontrade itself. do you think trade is an important component in relationships and as our role in the state department? certain ihere is a
hate to use the word interdependency because some people find that a threatening term but having those connections allows us to have the economic ties where we want to maintain good relations with one another. they also provide an enormous opportunity for us to know one another as people. this is people going about their daily lives, doing their jobs and having connections with others and other countries that are doing the same. it allows us to project america's values into those countries we are trading with, we have a presence in those countries bringing american standards of conduct, honest dealings for ethical behavior. a structure around honoring our deals and the deal is the deal we honor. economic trade is critical to the success of our foreign policy. >> thank you for your willingness to serve and thanks to your wife and family for their willingness to help support you in that service. six thank you.
during your tenure, the company massively expanded its involvement in russia. holdingsm virtually no in that country to holding the drilling rights to 63 million acres. that is an area inside of russia that is the size of wyoming. times the amount of holdings exxon has here. opposed theocally russian sanctions that have been put in place which hamper exxon's ability to drill there. learnedt weeks we have about the incredibly disturbing extent to which russia has sought to weaken our nation from its efforts to undermine the election to yesterday's news that it had optimizing personal and financial information about the president-elect.
inm sure that i am not alone saying i believe these allegations if true demand more againstnger sanctions russia. just this morning, donald trump said he thinks the russians did hack our american election. in light of what you now know about the extent of russia's hostile acts against our country, do you support againstng sanctions russia, even if doing so hurts exxon mobil. confirmed, in consultation with the president and i am sure will be an interagency decision around imposing additional sanctions on russia, there will space between me and the
president and the administration on those decisions. if confirmed i serve only the interests of the american people. >> the question that the american people are going to have is that you have spent 41 and exxonxxon mobil mobil controls releasing -- four , drillingpurposes purposes an area of the size of wyoming inside of russia. you spent your entire adult life working there. there is a question that people have in their minds about your ability to be able to separate. if the head of the sierra club was named tomorrow to be the new mobil, some of the shareholders at exxon mobil might wonder whether or not they had a sierra -- the head of the sierra club could put aside their past history.
in order to be able to advance that shareholder interest. the shareholders of the united states are wondering the same thing about this issue with regard to your past history and not just the vast interests which exxon mobil has in russia but in dozens of other countries across the world. earlier you said that you would recuse yourself from issues involving exxon mobil as required by statute. statutory recusal is for only one year. you could be secretary of state be for -- for four years or for eight years. you in my opinion are going to have many issues after that one year is up that relates to the
economic interests of exxon mobil. i ask you if you would be foring to recuse yourself the duration of your time as anyetary of state from matter dealing with exxon mobil's economic interest so the american people are sure that the only interest that you are serving as the interest of the american people. >> as i indicated earlier, i will honor obviously the statutory recusal time and any matter that might involve exxon that or has the appearance it could lead to some type of conflict i will seek the guidance of the ethics council, a review by them and if it is the view that it is proper for me to recuse, i will honor that. brief time is a very given the vast economic
inerests of exxon mobil nigeria, in iraq, in russia, in country after country around the world. would be far better for you just to say that for the duration of your time as secretary that you will not allow for your own personal involvement to be part of any thation about anything affects exxon mobil anywhere in the world. i think the american people would feel much more comforted if you would in fact make that commitment. during your tenure as ceo, exxon has supported public policy groups who have spread climate denial. senator kaine dealt with that issue. and also oppose clean energy, including, for example,
financial support in 2015 for the american legislative exchange council and the institute, two groups which are climate deniers. in 2016 when the attorney general of massachusetts asks exxon for information on the company's climate activities under massachusetts consumer and financial protection laws, exxon sued the state of massachusetts, the attorney general of massachusetts. and other public policy groups that have been critical of exxon. we have evidence in the past of exxon during the time you have been there supporting groups opposing climate action and also trying to silence groups that have been critical of exxon. people, givenn your personal history at exxon mobil and the actions of that
haveny, some reason to confidence that the climate agreement negotiated by secretary kerry and president obama, will be something that the trump administration's state department will honor and that u.s. leadership will continue on the issue of climate change around the planet. we are not just any country. we cannot be a laggard. we must be the leader, the world expects us to be later on climate change. please give us those assurances that you will guarantee that the state department will be the leader as it has been advancing a climate agenda for country. that confirmed, i am sure there will be opportunity and i know the president-elect will ant the opportunity to do
review of our policies around engagement on climate issues through global accords, global indicated, and as i i feel free to express my views to him around those. i also know that the president as part of his priority in campaigning was america first. there is important considerations as to -- as we commit to such accords that those accords are executed over ofe, are there any elements that that put america at a disadvantage. >> do you believe it should be a priority of the u.s. to work with other countries in the world to find climate change solutions to that problem? >> it is important for remarriage -- america to remain engaged so we are at the table expressing a view and understanding what the impacts may be on the american people and american competitiveness. >> to you commit to ensuring that no employee's influence to
take action because it would be favorable to business interests associated with the resident elect or his family? >> if i understood the question, yes. the president-elect said aimlessly in a tweet, when you rather have in a certain sense, have japan with nuclear weapons when north korea has nuclear weapons and the president-elect has also said that he would be open to south korea and saudi arabia acquiring nuclear weapons. who introduced to has previously described these comments as dangerously off base and stated that mr. trump's suggestion would make american families less safe. do you disagree with the -- elect elect to that that it would not be a bad thing
for us is japan and south korea and saudi arabia acquired nuclear weapons? tothe priority has to be deny north korea the ability to deploy its nuclear weapons. >> what about saudi arabia and south korea? >> congratulations on your nomination. they say that those who refuse the lessons of history are doomed to repeat the mistakes of the past. the president-elect has said that the iraq war was a big fat mistake. he said this many times. i was wondering if you agree with the statement and if you do, how will it inform your judgment as to the future of the middle east and the other conflicts that we are engaged or possibly engaged in the middle east? war alluded to the iraq when i indicated that actions , whilee past decades
well intended, had unintended consequences that in the end did not achieve the stability that we sought or national security. in that regard, the decision to go into iraq and change leadership in iraq upon -- didion was perhaps not achieve those objectives. we do not have a more stable region in the world and our national security has not been enhanced. or still certainly under threat today. >> that is an important point that we talk about whether or not our national security was enhanced. it gets lost in the emotions that these are terrible, evil , whatever country we are talking about. what we're trying to do is protect our vital national interests. another statement that the a president elect has made that the u.s. should stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we
know nothing about. that we should not be involved. this is interrelated to the last western but it is important in the sense that there are some within the foreign policy community who say we must go in and topple the regime in iran, it will be a cakewalk, they will with -- welcome us with open arms. one of the interesting things you find as you may iranian americans, many of whom lost all their land and wealth and you ask them about iran and you say what be a good idea to militarily invade iran and they say the opposite. much of iran is younger, much of iran is pro-western and with the first bomb that is drop you will reverse a lot of goodwill that is potentially there went in and finally change its regime on its own. it is important because we do and of wants therein to have nuclear weapons, no one want iran to be an aggressor in the region. it is important we look at the lessons of the iraq war. their rack or emboldened iran
and made it ran stronger. , same things are with libya. we toppled the regime in libya. iran, those who are advocating it will be a cakewalk and we should have military regime change, what do you think of that advocacy and what do you think of the -- the statements with regard to regime change? it inhink you described many ways in the same way i would see it. what is in the best interest of our national security? these priorities sometimes come into conflict of our values, the projection of our american values and our out of our compassion for the mistreatment of people and oppressive regimes. we want this people have a we had. -- will we have. what is most important is we are
protecting the american people first. this is where i think our too manys, we have priorities and therefore we lose sight of what is the most important. decision to effect a change of leadership in a country by force cannot be taken lightly and i think the question that one has to answer is that what comes next and in the case of libya, that was the feeling in the decision to change the regime there. no one had a clear plan or a view of what would come next. that is what we are experiencing and have experienced somewhat in iraq and it is the question in syria when people talk about changing the leadership there, what comes next? making a decision to use force is a serious decision. we know it will come at a cost of precious american lives. i think that is important and if
confirmed, my job is to make sure we never get there. my job is to chart out other pathways by which we can have a steady progress toward causing regimes who oppress their people to change their behavior and use all the other tools available to us. to be cleare have eyed about the threat that it ran poses and ensure we have taken all steps appropriate through all mechanisms available to contain the threat and to that their ability to grow threat and in particular, not just on the nuclear, acquiring a nuclear weapon but more importantly, their widespread support of terrorism around the world. we have to disrupt that. >> thank you. with regard to foreign aid, there has been a lot of love for foreign aid going around but there is another side we ought to think about. there are many reports talking
about corruption within foreign aid that we give it to developing countries and 70% of it is stolen off the top. egypt,arak family and they were a -- they are said to be worth about $15 billion. i don't think they created anything except they scammed things off the top. i believe it was equatorial guinea that had one of their sons stopped in paris a few years ago, loading cars onto an $200,000,hat were all $300,000 cars. a lot of it is directed towards either third-party charities or private entities. i would argue these are a lot less bad. we can't look at all foreign aid and say it is all going to a good cause.
in egypt, we gave so much and spent so much of this money. we have provisions where they have to buy stuff with the money, this creation of economic business kind of game that we do. one of the things they bought from us was tear gas. had a democratic protests in cairo, they would be from theth tear gas u.s. and they would pick the cancers of the street. i would argue that in supporting many people who really are not pro-human rights or pro-american interests, that actually sometimes the foreign aid backfires because they resist using aaders who are democratic, forceful, authoritarian means of arab people. i would appreciate your comments on whether or not you see any authoritarian means
towards people. i would appreciate your comments or whether or not you see any kind of -- in my previous work, i have seen things you describe. cases, whileelief food supplies are being unloaded at the airport, military forces are picking them up and taking them away to be sold. the challenge is never in the content and our compassion, the challenge is always in the execution. important that it is that we have as well developed execution plans -- if we're going to deliver aid into a country where we know this is a risk, what can we do with the delivery of that aid? if it is disaster relief, are
there other agencies we can partner with to limit that kind of theft going on? in terms of development assistance, to the extent that we do not give grants directly to governments but rather to particular projects or perhaps partnering agencies or public-private sector moneytives so that the never passes through the hands, that is the preferred mechanism, i think. paul: one final point i would make is that it is not only corruption but it is unintended consequences. i think right and left agree with some of this. if you don't pay the with rice haiti with rice for 10 years, you might hurt their local rice industry. i appreciate you thinking about
corruption and also unintended consequences. >> i think you have made great contributions when it relates to foreign aid and i think there is support for the 1% that we spend to use it in an appropriate way as soft power. i have shared this with the trump incoming transition group. much of our age is the cold war model where we are buying influence. so much of it, all of it actually needs to be transformed into something that has appropriate efforts. what we are doing right now with food aid is beyond belief. i could rant about this for another 20 minutes. partnerships are created where you are building on best practices. some of the things we are doing with water, some of the things with electricity.
i think they are set up on the right principles. i appreciate the comments. i hope you are all looking at foreign aid because there is much waste, much corruption. we could deliver it in a better way. >> it is a pleasure to join the committee. campaign, mr. trump was very critical of the tpp. you share his vision of nafta, tpp our mistakes in terms of creating living wage american jobs? mr. tillerson: my understanding of the issue that the president-elect has with those agreements -- in the case of nafta, it an agreement that has been in place for decades.
i think even the president of mexico has indicated that perhaps it needs a re-look. we are in a different era now in terms of the types of trade and technology but also, the global trading environment has changed. >> you share his opposition to the tpp? mr. tillerson: i do not oppose tpp. i share some of his concerns as to whether the agreement that best.gotiated was for the exxon did a fair number of ,ransactions with iran bypassing sanctions. are you aware of this subsidiary to bypass sanctions and what did the right thing to do? mr. tillerson: i don't recall it specifically. merkley: the sec contacted
exxon when you are in the leadership and said that this seems fairly material for investors is asked why ask gone -- asked why exxon didn't disclose it. do you have any recollection of whether exxon should have disclosed these transactions? mr. tillerson: i think it should be placed to exxon mobil where the information resides. sen. merkley: you were there. i am asking if you have a memory of it? if you were secretary of state and you were working to enforce sanctions and another ceo had a subsidiary set up to bypass u.s. sanctions, would you call that ceo away in and say this is not a good idea and say that undermines efforts to take on a serious terrorist threat or other malfeasance? mr. tillerson: i think, if the actions taken violate the sanctions, then there are proper
authorities that would examine that and deal with it. is not an issue of the technicality of violating it. if it really -- it can legally bypassed u.s. sanctions but if it was the goal of u.s. policy to sanction iran, when you make sure that the u.s. leadership and a of using sanctions was not undermined by the setup of foreign subsidiaries? sen. merkley: i was --mr. tillerson: i would certainly be having -- be open to having folks in the state department contact people and make sure they are aware of the actions and the state department's view. sen. merkley: that is different than to be concerned or upset by it. when you uphold the integrity of the u.s. goal of diminishing the ability of nations like iran to
do a whole host of things destructive to u.s. interests? sen. merkley: -- mr. tillerson: i understand, but i also think the state department, like any agency, should respect the laws in place. there is a difference between respect -- there is between expressing concern and someone breaking the laws. sen. merkley: when you look back of the subsidiary, it doesn't upset you that exxon took this role to undercut u.s. sanctions and you would not express concern of another kind between -- of another company legally set up a subsidiary to get around sanctions. mr. tillerson: i don't remember the circumstances. sen. merkley: it sounds like you are not considering that to be an issue. mr. tillerson: i don't know the example so i don't know how to answer the question. sen. merkley: let's turn to lobbying in the ukraine. you said earlier that "i have
never lobbied against sanctions personally, exxon has never lobbied against sanctions." yet there is a whole host of material about exxon lobbying against sanctions. reports under the law that they reports underon the law that they lobbied on these bills. there is your quote from the meeting that "we don't support sanctions generally." you continued that "we always encourage people making those decisions to consider the i would like to enter these into the record if i could. mobil,cle lays out exxon helping to defeat the russians sanctions bill and how it successfully lobbied at against a bill that would make it harder for the next president to remove sanctions against russia.
is a host of material showing a widespread pattern of waiting in against these sanctions that were harming exxon section activities in russia. do you still maintain that exxon did not lobby against these sanctions? exxon mobil do not lobby against the sanctions but we were engaged in how they would be constructed. my visits to the white house were to work through the process of exxon mobil's compliance to the sanctions. i described earlier that where the sanctions were enacted, there were drilling activities that involved considerable risks that were under way for which socked a special license in order to complete those in full compliance with the sanctions. had we been denied a license, we
would have had to pull someone out. sen. merkley: ours that the only -- is that the only issue you weigh in on at 20 meetings at the white house? mr. tillerson: i don't recall 20 meetings. under the terms of the compliance with the sanctions, the first action was to seek the license to allow us to deal with the imminent risk of the drilling situation. following that, they required exxon mobil to file reports on a periodic basis around our ongoing compliance activities. exxon mobil has holdings in russia that are not subject to the sanctions. with thership organization that does contain individuals subject to the sanctions. sen. merkley: these reports you consider to be incorrect?
mr. tillerson: they are an accurate. -- they are inaccurate. sen. merkley: there were three individuals in the trump campaign that public reports have being in dialogue with russia with the goal of finding a common strategy, with russia believing that trump would be better on syria and ukraine policy and trump believing that russia could help defeat hillary clinton. these reports have not been substantiated. i am sure much more will come of them. but, in theory, have you feel about a u.s. candidate turning to a foreign country to essentially find another partner in defeating another candidate in the u.s. presidential election? mr. tillerson: that would not comport with our democratic process. sen. merkley: thank you. i'm sure we will have a lot of discussion with this because the extent of the false news stories, the hacking, the cyber
tnets to the use of bo amplify false news stories, the hiring of trolls, really undermine our democracy. they wanted to undermine u.s. confidence and citizens' confidence in our democratic values. that is a real concern to the future of our state and i assume it is a concern you might share as well. mr. tillerson: it is a concern i share. i also noted in the report that i read that the interagency report also at knowledge that these -- also acknowledge that practices were carried out in the cold war. the tools have advanced. sen. merkley: a lot of the tools are internet-based, cyber warfare that were much different in that setting. when we come back on our next round, i would like to ask a few
questions about exxon's involvement in equatorial guinea. my colleague mentioned it on the other side and i think it would be of interest. barrasso: i wanted to do about your opening statements. one of the statement that you made was about defeating isis. are you going to say that "defeat will not occur on the battlefield alone. we must win the war of ideas. if i could engage you a little bit to find out how we can use diplomatic efforts in other ways to target and undermine the isis ideology and its legitimacy. how can we do that and improve u.s. led cooperation in the region with our allies? globally, it is challenging because it does not represent a country that we can apply traditional approaches to. is going tof isis
require advanced capabilities in our own communication tools in terms of disrupting their communications to develop their network, more importantly to further their ideology. this means getting into the internet airspace and putting forth different ideas and disrupting their delivery of ideas to people who are persuaded to join them. -- the defeat of isis in the middle east were from -- removes their caliphate territory which removes legitimacy. it will not defeat isis once and for all, it would simply morph into its next version. we see that already with terrorist organizations around the world deciding to identify with isis because of the strength of their brand, quite frankly. i think it will require a
interagency effort with the defense department and other agencies as to how can we disrupt the delivery of this ideology? why the ideology takes hold in a particular location -- there is not a country that identifies itself as isis. that is why taking away the caliphate is so important. sen. barrasso: it looks like they are trying to extend into afghanistan. afghan-pakistan border. the cancer has spread. i appreciate those thoughts. in your opening statement, you talked about the fact that the u.s. is not as strong and respected as it had been previously and we need a foreign policy aimed at securing our national interest, demonstrating our leadership. from the standpoint of credibility, you and i talked about having the capacity to do something, the commitment to use that capacity, and communicating
that commitment about the capacity. can you share a little bit about what you intend to do in terms of restoring america's position in the world? mr. tillerson: we are dealing from a position of strength so the only reason we are not perceived that way is because we are not asserting that strength in these issues. it does begin with re-engaging with friends and allies, reconnecting with them that our commitment is to the stability of the region, that are -- that if there are existing commitments in place, that we intend to fulfill those. developing a strategy in the region to deal with the most imminent threats. it means projecting strength with our military might but hopefully not having to use it in terms of trying to persuade countries to change their course of action. in the case of the most
immediate threat of isis, it involves, can we construct a renewed coalition that, using the forces that are already there including the syrian kurds , which have been our greatest allies, that we recommit to the syrian kurds that we intend to support you with the capability to continue the advance on raqqa , and then killed coalition forces that can contain isis if it intends to move into other parts of the country. and, limiting them from syria. i think the effort in iraq is progressing and hopefully it will progress to a successful conclusion as well in terms of removing the caliphate from isis. staying in the middle east, in terms of the relationship between israel and the palestinians, it has been a position of the country that direct negotiation between the countries without interference from outsiders was the key.
the obama administration recently abandoned israel with a one-sided resolution at the security council, the united nations, by abstaining from a vote, which in the past we would have routinely vetoed. can you talk about your views on the refusal to veto the recent un security council resolution and a subsequent speech by secretary kerry? mr. tillerson: israel is, has always been, and remains our most important ally in the region. the u.s. resolution that was passed, in my view, is not helpful. it undermines a good set of conditions for talks to continue . after theary's speech resolution i found quite troubling because of the attacks on israel and in many ways undermining the government of israel itself in terms of its
own legitimacy of the talks. in the truck administration, the president-elect has -- the trump administration, the president-elect has made it clear and i would support, we have to recommit that we would be following through on our obligations to israel. sen. barrasso: staying with the united nations. you talked about the international agreements, the climate agreements, the international climate change. funding is a part of that. the obama administration has unilaterally pledged $3 billion to the green fund. they have respected $1.3 billion -- they have requested $1.3 billion in this year's budget. you mentioned donald trump campaigning on america first. to no moneymmit
going to the u.n. green climate fund? mr. tillerson: my expectation as we will look at all of these things from a bottom-up in terms of funds we have committed. sen. barrasso: as senator isakson talked about the value of using soft power, there are so many opportunities, whether humanitarian assistance, embassy security measures, encountering global terror threats where money could better be spent than on these efforts. are talked about some of the wonderful a -- the wonderful things that happened around the world because of u.s. involvement in soft power. part of that is helping to power energy in a number of communities around the world. many of us have been to africa to see what happens in a community where there is energy available where it had been previously in terms of helping as a tool for those countries so
people can get education opportunities, health, well-being. we have had a situation where some of the programs in place have not really supported all of the above energy. we have seen where the world bank has blocked funding for coal-fired power plants, which would help bring light and other opportunities to a number of countries in africa. i wonder if you could comment on the need to use all of the sources of energy to help people living in poverty and without power. mr. tillerson: i know you touched on it, but nothing lifts people out of poverty quicker than electricity. you give people like, you give them the ability to refrigerate medicine, it changes their entire quality of life. they no longer cook on animal don and wood cooking in their homes, so their health improves. i think it is very important that we use wisely the american people's dollars as we support
these programs. that means, whatever is most efficient, effective way to deliver electricity to these areas that don't have it, that should be the choice. that is the wisest use of american dollars. corker: we will go ahead and finish up with senator portman. we will take a 45 minute recess when these two gentlemen finish their time. each of them will have 10 minutes when they get back to start and then we will resume again in the same order and do seven minute rounds when we get back. it looks like will recess about what: 30 and come back about 2:15. coons: good afternoon.
welcome and thank you for your willingness to serve this country in this important post. i appreciate the frank conversation we had in my office last week. i want the american people to hear some of the answers you give me on some pressing and relevant questions around your nomination on your views. many of my colleagues have already asked about how you will handle the transition from ceo of the world's leading energy topany, oil company secretary of state, advocate for human rights, open press, democracy. i have been encouraged to hear you say that we will stand by our nato allies, that he would not support accepting the annexation of crimea by russia and that you see rush as currently an adversary and possibly an enemy. -- see russia has currently an adversary and possibly an enemy. you said recently that the russians are strategic thinkers and they have a plan. they have a plan to restore their role in the world order. my core concern is that their
plan is actually to change the world order and that they have used a wide range of tools and we have not successfully pushed back on their campaign. delegationpartisan to eastern europe in august and was struck at the number of times in several countries that we were briefed on a continuous campaign to divide europe and the united states, to undermine the nato alliance, and to divide europe from within. russia has used all the tools of state power to wage an aggressive propaganda campaign. back in the 1990's, after the fall of the soviet union, we use radio free europe and the national endowment for democracy and we were engaged in a full on fight for democracy in the former warsaw pact countries and former soviet republics. i think we should be using all of our tools to push back on this russian aggression. russianee rt as a
propaganda outlet and how would you use the resources of the state department to counter russian propaganda and push back on this effort to change the rules of the world order? mr. tillerson: utilizing the opportunity to communicate to people in russia through mechanisms that were successful europe,ast, radio free and utilizing those types of sources as well as providing information on the internet to the extent that people can access the internet so that they have availability to the facts, the facts as they exist, to the alternative reporting of events that are presented through the largely controlled media outlets inside moscow. that is an important way in which to at least to begin to inform the russian people as to what the realities are. it is an important tool that should be utilized. is the intelligence
community's assessment that the kremlin has a long-standing plan to undermine the global democratic order that we have spent so much time building since the second world war. when you rely on and encourage the president-elect to rely on the career professionals in the intelligence community in her role as secretary of state if confirmed? have a norm for intelligence agencies and the vital role that they play -- i have enormous respect for the intelligence agencies and the vital role that they play. the fact that they get on the ground is very important in guiding our future policies and future options for how to respond. sen. coons: i know this press conference has happened while you were here, but just an hour or so ago, the president-elect finally publicly said that he thinks it is most likely true that russia was behind hacking efforts and he gave no more
specific response to the question of what we should do about it other than, we will work something out. many of us are concerned about the lack of a clear embrace of a congressional role and a clear embrace of a congressional-led sanctions. there is a bipartisan bill that will move forward that will enact sanctions so that it is not just from just one outgoing president. you have given constructive answers previously on your view on sanctions and your view that if done in a solid, sustainable way, they can be a constructive tool of foreign policy. please reassure me that you would welcome working with congress on enacting sections with russia in response to their war crimes in syria, their invasion of crimea,
and their attack on democracy. my role at the state department would be the latitude to use those sanctions and efforts to cause modifications in russia's .ositions if they are already in place and mandatory, that may remove some opportunities to explore ways in which we can use them and give the russian government the option of moving because of the threat. ask i -- >> i do think we should
work in concert but there are some tools that congress chooses to move forward with. it is my hope against infant sanctions to show our determination to contain putin's aggression. let me move to another topic. do you think it advances america's interest to have the russian military supporting assad, coordinating with iran and engaging in combat actions in syria against the moderate opposition, against folks who we have relied on against the fight against isis. think we can strengthen our hand against iran? given they are destabilizing regional actions? the nuclearsider agreement with iran, if we withdraw from the agreement, how will we sustain the current level of visibility we have into iran's nuclear program?
how will that make us safer? mr. tillerson: with respect to the recent agreement to limit towardability to advance a nuclear weapon, if confirmed, my recommendations -- i think this is consistent with the president-elect -- is to do a full review of that agreement, as well as any number of side agreements that i understand are a part of that agreement. and ourwhether iran ability to verify whether iran is meeting its obligations under the agreement and ensure that we are enforcing all of the mechanisms available that hold them to that agreement. no one degrees -- no one disagrees with the objective have aan does not nuclear weapons. my understanding is the current agreement does not deny them the
ability to purchase a nuclear weapon. i think there are additional areas that need to be considered , and most important, if we choose to use this agreement as a way to provide an opportunity to discuss what comes next, because the real important question is what comes at the end of this agreement and what comes at the end must come test must be a mechanism that does deny iran the ability to develop a nuclear weapon. that means no uranium enrichment , no nuclear materials stored in iran. the other side of that is what does iran get through working with partners? provide iran the excess to the means to peaceful uses of nuclear materials, nuclear power, medical applications, industrial applications. that would be done under a very
controlled process, working with partners to do that, whether iran is prepared to chart a pathway that looks like that, we will only know once we engage in discussions. >> many members look forward to working with you to make sure we are restraining iran's nuclear ambitions effectively and that we are implementing what we get out of that current agreement and reviewing it closely. [crowd noise]