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tv   MSNBC Live With Stephanie Ruhle  MSNBC  January 11, 2017 6:00am-7:01am PST

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did yesterday, and we are letting our viewers know there are going to be a fair number, likely, of protester interruptions, and we have seen some of them already, members of the group code pink have taken their place in the gallery behind the row of reporters and staff, and most of the members of the committee, the senators themselves are already there and seated behind the desk, and we are going to hear from the two current republican senators from the state of texas, rex tillerson's home state, senator cornen and senator cruz. we will hear from a legendary name in the u.s. senate, former democratic senator, sam nunn, and his name still carries a lot of clout on capitol hill. you see the scurry as rex tillerson comes in the hearing room. we will be hearing a lot more about him as the morning goes on.
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we will be hearing his testimony, his opening statement and his answers to those questions. andrea mitchell was chasing the nominee for secretary of state through the hallways up on the senate. andrea, good morning. >> reporter: good morning to you. as you point out, sam nunn is such a heavyweight in terms of foreign policy and defense and that's a big introducer as well as bob gates the former defense secretary. rex tillerson is coming fully armed with a lot of political cover and he is expected to say that russia is a rising threat to nato and other allies, and he says this resurgent russia is to be blamed on the weakness of the weakness of the obama administration and the obama foreign policy. people around me, we have senator menendez joining as well going past me. rex tillerson, as you know,
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brian, has decades of experience in russia, and putting in even greater focus on his relationship with vladimir putin and russia is the controversy, the explosion of what is the potential bombshell, this unverified allegation in a nonintelligence document which has been circulating around washington, which, you know, as you know, we were talking last night, came out on buzzfeed and is now being circulated. officials are telling us it was a two-page intelligence addendum to the classified briefing that was presented to both president obama and president-elect trump, and we know from kellyanne conway and reince priebus from the "today" show, trump never read the two-day addendum, and kellyanne conway said that to seth meyers last night, and that document did not remain with him because he's not in a secured
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facility, and that is causing a lot of controversy, and i asked bob corker about it. >> i respect the right for us to have a hearing, to control yourselves in an appropriate manner, and i am sure that is going to be the case. this is the best of america here. sir, being without standing members on the committee, as a matter of fact because of so much happeningn the world today, and because of the role that this committee has played over the last several years, demand on this committee has grown, and with that i want to welcome new members who i know will play a big role in the future of our country. mr. young, newly elected to the
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senate, we welcome you here, and this is our first public appearance and we thank you for your interest in our country's future and thank you for being here, and mr. rob portman, he serves on more committees than anybody in the senate, and we thank you for your responsible thinking and leadership, and want to thank jeff markly who cares deeply about these issues, for joining this committee, for your principled efforts in so many regards, and i know they will continue here. and cory booker, a new start to the senate and i know will play a big and vigorous role here and we thank you for being here today. just to give you a sense of what is going to happen today, we have four very distinguished people, two of whom are colleagues who will introduce the nominee, and then we will move to opening statements. i will give an opening
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statement, and our distinguished ranking member will give an opening statement, and then our nominee, mr. rex tillerson will give his. each person here will have ten minutes to ask qutions. a little bit more than the normal. we coordinated a schedule with ranking member, but also with senator schumer and others just to insure that the american people and certainly all of us have the opportunity to ask the kind of questions that people would like to ask. i would say to members -- i know some of us have an art form of being able to ask about nine questions in the time ending five seconds before the respondent responds, and the answer includes the ten minutes, and in order to be respectful of everybody's time, which is unusual here, and we will hold to that in a rigid way.
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our plan is we will go to about 1:00 today, if everybody uses their time, and we will take a break out of showing mercy to our nominee for about 45 minutes and to many of us up here, and then we will come back and resume until such a time as we have the vote. the ranking member and i have agreed that should there be another day necessary, we will begin in the morning at 10:00, and hopefully with all that will happen today, that will be unnecessary, but our nominee is very aware that that may well occur. i think all of you know that our business meeting, again, in order to show respect for all of who are here is moved until tonight when we have the vote arahma, at which time will take up the ascension to nato and will take up the resolution
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relative to israel. we will do that off the floor this evening. >> mr. chairman, can i thank you for the accommodations for this hearing. i know you started at 9:00, as an accommodation so that we could all have a little more time in the morning for asking questions and i thank you very much for that accommodating a 10-minute round, and the chairman and i have worked closely together to make sure this hearing was the type of hearing that we would be proud of in the senate foreign relations committee and i want to personally thank you for that and welcome our four new members to our committee, and with that i will hold until after the introductions. >> this committee has been certainly a beaco of bipartisanship, as was mentioned. sometimes an island of bipartisanship. i think all of us understand the importance of us being united, especially when we leave the shore's edge and i know we will continue to conduct the hearing
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today in that manner. with that, we have four very distinguished individuals that would like to introduce the nominee, and we thank each of them for being here. i know that they plan to spend about 2 1/2 minutes each to do so. we welcome you here, and we have the distinguished senator cornyn from texas, and the distinguished senator cruz from texas, and the distinguished sam nunn from georgia who we miss but thank him for his service, and the distinguished secretary gates who served eight presidents and i am actually surprised he is not serving a ninth, but we thank you for being here. each of you, if you would, please give your comments and then we will move to opening statements. thank you for being here. >> chairman corker and ranking member carter and members of the committee, i am proud to be here today with my colleague, senator cruz, to introduce a fellow
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texan, rex tillerson, as the nominee to be the next secretary of state. without a doubt rex tillerson is an inspired choice by president-elect trump for this critical position. the depth and breath of his experience as an accomplished and successful business leader and skilled negotiator give him a solid understanding of the current geopolitical and current economic challenges and making him uniquely qualified to serve in the important office. after graduating from the university of texas in engineering, he moved up the ranks and into overseas assignments in asia and the middle east and europe. in 2006, he assumed command of the exxonmobile, a tenure in which he displayed exxon weather geocomplex problems making them
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one of the most profitable corporations. he has been recognized for something you don't ordinarily associate with being a powerful business leader and the head of one of the largest corporations in the word, he is recognized for his humility and al truism. he talked about serving on a jury with tillerson recently, and on that jury his natural leadership and ability and charisma helped them to deliver justice in a delicate case of sexual assault, and thenr. tillerson datedo the nonprofit that helped to support the victim after the trial. mr. tillerson understands how to separate friendships and business. he knows who he works for. my first encounter with rex is when i was attorney general, and i don't know if he remembers this, but we were on opposite sides of a lawsuit.
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i was representing in my capacity as attorney general the state of texas and we had the temerity to sue exxonmobile, and let's say our first encounter was a little awkward to say the least, but over the years i have grown to admire and respect rex, and he didn't let our differences get in the way of what we could agree on. since then i have seen him demonstrate an uncanny ability that will serve him and our country well as its chief diplomat, and that's an ability to depthly handle business matters while handling relationships. once he is confirmed i am confident he will be instrumental in shaping american foreign policy as we face a broad array of diplomatic challenges that will define the security and success of our nation for generations. thank you, members of the committee for letting me introduce rex tillerson.
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>> for being maybe the first prompt senator i have witnessed here, thank you so much. >> trying to set the standard. >> thank you, sir. >> mr. chairman, and ranking member cardin and members of the committee, and it's a privilege to join you and have the opportunity to introduce a fellow texan rex tillerson. as many of you know, he is a proud texas longhorn, which jon and i might think is plenty enough alone to qualify him for secretary of state, but i recognize y'all might set a higher bar than that. the good news is, that's only the beginning of a long substantive list of qualifications and achievements and international relationships that rex brings to the table. a list that i believe has prepared him to be a strong candidate to lead our state
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department as we live in a dangerous time. many of our friends no longer trust us and many of our enemies no longer fear us. rex tillerson is a serious man. he knows what it takes to accomplish difficult tasks. at an early age he started as a production engineer at exxon in 1975 and eventually climbing his way to the top as ceo of the fortune 10 company. at exxon, he led one of the world's most respected companies
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with over 75,000 employees and over $250 billion in revenue. exxon, a proud texas company does business in 52 countries, and rex has travelled the globe negotiating business deals with world leaders, effectively advocating for the interest of his company, shareholders, and employees. the numerous achievements rex has earned, they don't come without hard work, dedication and passion for one's mission. this is the work ethic and spirit tt america needs in its secretary of state. that is the attitude that gives me confidence and the opportunity that rex has to chart a different, better and stronger course for our national security and diplomacy. we need a secretary of state who understands that america is exceptional, who will establish policies upon that foundation of
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exceptioni exceptionism, and who will put america's interest first. repeatedly, the current administration has used the united nations to try and circumvent the will of congress and the american people. i look forward to a president and secretary of state who will instead vigorously defend u.s. sovereign sovereignty. i believe that rex has an incredible opportunity to defend the foreign policy principles upon which president-elect trump campaigned. to strengthen our friendship and alliances and defeat our enemies, and i look forward to awful us working with him in the years ahead as we restore american leadership across the globe. >> thank you also for those concise comments, and much appreciated and should you need to leave to go to other hearings, please feel free to go
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to. >> you need to turn your mike on, sir. >> i thank you, chairman and senator and my friend senator isaacson, and i wish i thought of the clock a long time ago, and it would have saved a lot of agony for the committee, and i will try to cut the statement as short as possible and ask the whole statement be put in the record. >> without objection, thank you. >> rex tillerson's resume is well known so let me just tackle two points that i know have been raised with the committee as well as with the senate. first, rex tillerson's knowledge of and experience in russia. second, how his work in the private sector prepares him to be our top diplomat and run one of the most important departments in our governments. russia's flagrant actions show
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its interest sharply differ from america's interests. russia's values differ from america's value in our form of government and our commitment to personal freedom and human rights and the rule of law. these fundamental differences are very important and the fact that our interests and values different should always form our policy towards russia, but it's also a fact that russia today deploys hundreds of nuclear warheads on ballistic missiles that could be fired and hit their targets around the globe in less time it would take to have opening statements at the hearing today. for both the united states and russia, the risk of an accidental unauthorized or mistaken loss of a ballistic nuclear missile is high particularly in the cyber vulnerability, and the united states and russia, like it or
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not, are bound together in areas of unavoidable common interests in reventing the nuclear and bioterrorism, and false warnings of nuclear attacks and the hacking of command and control systems or nuclear facilities. these facts lead me to an insaw scapable conclusion, it's dangerous for the united states and russia and the world to have no dialogue on reducing nuclear risks and very little military to military communication. if this continues and we are guided by zero logic on both sides, we and russia may be rewarded at some point with catastrophe. this is my judgment, even when we have disputes of strong intelligence that russia interfered in the elections, a finding for our political
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process and security. there have been other moments in history when voices in both washington and moscow argued that our areas of disagreement were so great we should not work on issues even of common interest between our two countries. for those who are considering this point, i would suggest rereading president kennedy's commencement address delivered months after the cuban missile cris kennedy spoke of theursuit of peace as necessary and ration other and quoting him in a age where a single nuclear weapon contains ten times the explosive power delivered by all the allied forces in the second world war. and president kennedy reject the the voices saying it's useless to speak of peace and to adopt a more enlightened attitude. let us direct our attention to the common interests and the
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means by which these differences to be resolved. these words remain true today. i know rex tillerson pretty well and i am confident he is well prepared to do what is essential for the security of our nation, to hold firm and tough where our national interests and values depend on it, and working with other nations including russia on concrete steps that will make the american people safer and more secure. mr. chairman and members of the committee, i also consider rex tillerson's experience and knowledge in business as an asset, and as well as his knowledge of russia, and i think both are assets and not liability. i also consider his business experience very relevant to the world today. it's an asset as i look at the world today every significant international challenge we face has an important business component. it's true in ukraine and the
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middle east and true in most places. rex tillerson knows these crucial regions and knows the leaders and the challenges and the risk and he's aware of the private sector and the important role he can play in addressing these fundamental issues. mr. chairman in wrapping up, i am confident rex tillerson will take off his corporate hat and use his vast experience to devote 100% of his considerable enter let and experience to protect the u.s. and the world we are in. i urge his confirmation. >> thank you so much for being here and participating and your many, many contributions relative to nuclear safety around the world. secretary gates? >> chairman, and distinguished members of the foreign relations committee, it gives me great
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pleasure to introduce tillerson for the next secretary of state. we have had a shared experience in leading the boy scouts of america, and we would talk often for hours about international affairs including russia and putins. i believe i have a good idea about how he thinks about the worl and the challenges we face. the secretary of state has four important roles, advising the president, negotiating with foreign governments and international organizations and representing the united states abroad, and leading the department of state. against a backdrop of having known or worked with 12 secretaries of state, i believe mr. tillerson is suburbly qualified to carry out each of these roles. he is deeply knowledgeable about the international scene and geopolitics, and importantly would be an informed and independent adviser to the president. he would be candid and honest and willing to tell the
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president straight from the shoulder what he needs to hear, and he would bring decades of experience as a tough negotiator with foreign governments, and i heard him speak often about values, and based on his experience and leading a major corporation as well as the boy scouts, i know he will lead the department of state with skill and professionalism. i spent my entire adult life dealing with the soviet union and russian, and i joined the cia over 50 years ago to do my bit in the epic struggle with the soviet union, and during that time i acquired a representation of a hard liner, and ask a couple previous secretaries of state, and i knew we had to contain the risk of conflict with the ussr, and that
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meant engaging in dialogue and negotiations and reaching agreements limiting strategic nuclear weapons and establishing procedures to prevent confrontations from escalating. this new administration must thread the needle between pushing back against vladimir putin's aggressions, and meddling and ambitions and bullying, and at the same time find a way to stop a dangerous downward spiral in our relationship with russia. i believe mr. tillerson is the right person at the right time to help accomplish both of those goals. so it is with pride and confidence i introduce him to you today and encourage his confirmation. >> we thank you all for being here. you honor us with your presence -- >> we are going to interrupt the proceedings in the hearing room for just a moment, as you may have just heard, we are joined by cynthia mcfadden here in our studio in new york. americans went to bed last night
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and woke up this morning with the news media dominated by this potentially explosive story that broke last night. it was about donald trump being the target of compromising information that the soviets had on him personally and financially, and more than that, that there was some indication of continued contact between team trump and the russians. this was apparently a kind of addendum that was added to a briefing given concurrently but separately to both president obama and donald trump. our senior legal and investigative correspondent has been working on this every since, and cynthia has an update for us. what you have learned? >> what we know is that a senior u.s. intelligence official who was involved in the preparation for the meeting tells nbc the
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president-elect was not briefed on this so-called two-page addendum of the allegations against him, that it was part of the briefing materials available to the briefers but it was not included because they believed it to be true, it was included for a different reason, it was inuded should theyeel they needed to explain to mr. trump the difference between analyzed intelligence and what they are calling unvetted disinformation, that it was available for that purpose and it never came up, and importantly, documents were never presented to mr. trump or his team. this was an oral briefing, and one reason is at trump tower there's no place to contain a top secret documents, and this was an oral briefing and we were told definitively this was not told to mr. trump at the time. i want to say one other thing, according to a high-ranking u.s. intelligence official, and i'm
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quoting intel law enforcement officials agree they have not found a conclusive or direct link between mr. trump and the russian government, period. >> so the documents -- you may not have the answer to this, were carried into the briefing for donald trump, and we believe, concurrently for president obama, but never handed over? say nothing, orally briefed or handed over? >> correct. mr. clapper was doing the presentation and the documents were not handed over to trump or his team. >> this remains one of the news days since election day itself, and coming up on 9:30, we will go to rex tillerson in just a moment, but reminder to all of our viewers, the signature event of this day is not necessarily any of the hearings happening on capitol hill, rather it's an event at 11:00 a.m. coming up
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about 90 minutes from now, from trump tower in new york, and this will be the first time we have heard from or seen from trump in a news conference since july, and he said in effect last time, russia, if you are listening, help us find those e-mails. thanks to cynthia mcfadden and we continue to report on this story, and now we will continue to the hearing. >> -- the role of immigrants flowing in, and the whole challenging of the european -- the european model, and then we have had a campaign, and let's face it, that has been somewhat unorthodox, and one that has also giv concern to our allies in the world and to many around
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the world as to just where america is going to be. with all of this chaos, and we have had chaos where the united states has been withdrawing, and that's a recipe for further chaos. this is a very important hearing. i had the ability the other day to sit down with general flynn, who is going to be the national security adviser, and i spent time with people around him for sometime, and i know that rightly so his focus is also on our country doing well economically. every military leader we have had before us and certainly secretary gates have told us that if our nation is not strong economically, if we are not doing the things fiscally to
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keep ourselves strong, then our nation will be weak and our leadership around the world will be diminished. so i am thankful that is the case. a lot of people here realize it's not only important for us to be economically successful, but we understand that auto kratz in other places, when they themselves are not successful end up creating havoc around the world for reasons to build support for their countries. therefore we don't wish the other major countries in the world harm as it relates to economic growth, we want them to do well, countries like china, and even russia, who no doubt has conducted very nefarious activities in our country. and many has seen in the middle east, the poverty, not like what
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happens in our own country, where people in cities and neighborhoods have no hope, prime permeates and things occur, and we have seen the same thing happen in the middle east where young people with no hope are attracted to ideologies and end up threatening our own nation. i appreciate the fact that at the national security office, they are not only connected to those who will b deang with our issues of foreign policy and our role in the world, but also focus on those economic issues, which brings me to trade. our country has shown great leadership around the world, rob portman served as our trade representative in previous administrations, and we have talked about what our role will be in that regard, and i think most of us believes that a world that continues to focus on free enterprise and to have
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democratic principles more and more permeated is a world better for us -- and we can focus on trade as it relates to the standard of living for americans, and people within those countries begin to adopt the values that we hold so dear here in our country. one of the things that us in the committee and so many in the audience have been able to do is also to see the importance of american values around the world, and it's an amazing thing to be in afghanistan, for example, and to see women at 4:30 in the morning, who, by the way, do all of the hard work in afghanist afghanistan, up and ready to vote in the first election that they voted in, or to see young
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girls going to schools that they never had the opportunity to go to, and to be in refugee camps where truly every eye is on the american that is there with hope, and to be in venezuela and to see families whose loved ones are in prison for political reasons and looking to us to change that. to be in villages in africa, where for the first time because of american ingenuity, people -- 600 million people without power now have hope with very little in the way of u.s. resources, but our leadership and setting a vision and working with others, the elimination almost of hiv, and the dealing with malaria, and other diseases like ebola,
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and many of us have been in situations where young people just want to touch us, and they just want to see us, and they want to hug americans because they like the people who founded our country believing the american ideal is not just a country, but it's their hope, it's their vision of what their life might be. with american leadership. i believe the world's at its best when america leads and i believe most people believe the same thing, and we understand the importance of diplomacy, and all of us know with the 1% of the u.s. budget that we spend on efforts like mr. tillerson may lead, and that 1%, if we are successful, the likelihood of the men and women that we cherish so much in our military are much less likely to be in
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harm's way, which brings me to you. this is a person, mr. tillerson, who, by the way, had never met mr. trump, as i understand, until a few weeks ago, a month ago, and i believe like the senator said, it's very, very possible that uare, in fact, an inspired choice. we look at the president to -- if you think about it, it approaches everything almost from an economic standpoint, and that has been the world he lived in and the fact that you led a global enterprise with 70,000 employees around the world, and have been there for 41 1/2 years, and have met world leaders and know them up close and personally, to me, that is going to give our new president much greater confidence in your ability to offer advice, and i
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think it's going to give the state department possibly the ability to have the appropriate balance with other forces as it relates within the white house and other places, as it relates to developing a vision for our country. if you think about it, not only does the world not really understand where america is today, and all of us have had leaders in our offices wondering what is next, all of us, but if you think about the body politic here in our own country, doesn't understand. you look at the election. we had the bush presidency and then we had the obama presidency, which was not the bush presidency, and then we had this election where many things have been said, and sometimes in unorthodoxed ways, and not just the world leaders not know where we are, and not do just citizens that watch us on television and
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other places, but our body politic here does not know. so mr. tillerson, you have -- this is a momentous time. this, to me, is the most important nomination that the president has made. the world paying attention to this hearing, i think, denotes that, you have the ability, no doubt, to draw a crowd, and it's going to be your responsibility to define clearly what america's role in the world is going to be, and i know secretary gates haspoken to this many times as he talks about the way the world was when it was us and the soviet union, and now it's very different, and the american people, even, don't fully understand what the future holds. you have to restore our credibility, secondly. look, the nato alliance is shaken. europe is shaken.
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our arab friends because of negotiations that have taken place are concerned about the future, and i could go on and on but i want to be respectful to other peoples' times, and one of your first goals is going to be to restore u.s. credibility around the world. you are going to need to prioritize. one of the things i witnessed over the last several years, and there's a lot of activity that takes place and it's hard to discern where it's taking us, and i think a person that led an organization and has risen from the bottom and been the ceo of a global enterprise has in fact been an inspired choice to prioritize, and to have the relationships based on trust, and based on people knowing that we are going to do what we say. and then lastly, you are the person that is charged with
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being the principle adviser to the president on foreign policy, and i think that's the question that people on both sides of the aisle will raise most here today is -- we know that the president-elect's foreign policy is evolving as he takes office and talks to people, and there's no way you can speak on his behalf today, that can not happen. what people here today want to know how are you going to advice him? you are going to be one of the last people to talk to him, and you are going to be up under the hood sharing with him what you think ought to happen, and we know you will carry out his policy, and we have watched as some tried to carry out their own policy and not the president's, and we know that does not work. thank you for being here. my sense is you are going to
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rise to the occasion, and that you are going to demonstrate that you are, in fact, an inspired choice, and that you are going to be able to take the years of accomplishment and relationships and transfer that and translate it into a foreign policy that benefits u.s. national interests. thank you again for being willing to put yourself before our country and the world in this manner, and with that let me turn to our distinguished ranking member, and my friend, ben cardin. >> thank you very much for the accommodations for this hearing, and i agree with your final comment, this hearing is about mr. tillerson and mr. tillerson's views, but i think we will have some specific questions because of statements made by mr. trump. but we do want to hear your views particularly as it relates to many of the challenges that chairman corker went through in his opening statement, and
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senator it's a pleasure to have you in our committee, and secretary gates, thank you for all of your service and you honor our committee, both of you, by being here today. i also want to once again welcome our new colleagues, senator booker, and senator portman and senator young, i worked with all four of you before in different capacities and i know your commitment to our national security and foreign policy and i know you will all be great additions to our committee. i want to acknowledge senator king, and is that the first time senator king has been in our committee room, and we need to get you on a committee. as i told you in our private meeting, mr. tillerson, thank you, thank you for being willing to serve the public. it's not easy to put yourself forward as you found since your nomination has been brought forward, and your life has changed pretty dramatically, and not just for you but for your
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entire family, and we thank you for your willingness to serve our country. providing advice and consent on the nominees of the president is one of the most important constitutional powers of the senate and it's an awesome responsibility and one that i know awful us on this committee take with the utmost seriousness. there's no question about your impressive record in the business world, rising through the ranks and then running eu s exxon, one of the largest multinational agencies in the world, and then a view from the suite at exxon, is not the same here. serving the narro market-driven interestof exxon shareholders is not the same as serving the
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national interests of all the american people, and effective corporate governance and management does not always lend itself to government decision making where bureaucracies and institutions such as congress serve different political and social purposes than maximizing profits and i want to get a sense how you envision pivoting from a oil man with profits to a statesman focused on principles and interests around the world. you will have a role to play the values since its founding continue to flourish. i want to share with you as i did in our private meeting, my vision of the united states foreign policy and the role of the secretary of state and carrying out that policy. i approach this hearing with a clear set of expectations of the next administration, and i
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believe strongly in a world where america works with its allies and partners, and consistent with the liberal international order and one where we champion our values both at home and abroad. indeed i think it's wurt spending a few minutes this morning on the questions of human rights, democracy,ood governance, anti-corruption and it's worth doing so because the critical importance of these issues for america's role in the world and our values are our interests and not a separate set of considerations, and also because of the nature of exxon and your work there. how do you view your job as secretary spwebintend to approa them. i championed the cause of human rights and democratic process and good governance, so when i
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see violations by the sovereignty in the south china sea, i speak out, and when i see gross human violations in ethiopia, i speak out. when i see massive corruption in countries with extreme poverty, like ecuador, i speak out. when i see severe erosion of democratic institutions in venezuela, i speak out. indeed, events over the past year serve as a stark reminder that democracy will not defend itself. it requires those of us that believe in the enduring values of the democratic experiment to nurture and support it. perhaps the most egregious events we have seen most recently is what has happened by president putin and russia have effectively killed the
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democracy, and to erode support for democratic institutions and calls into question well established rules of the road. moscow directs efforts undermine democracy through propaganda, false news, and funding for populous political parties abroad, so perhaps it should come as no surprise that the activities that reached our shores, but it's stunning nonetheless. last week the intelligence community found that mr. putin did indeed direct efforts to interfere in our elections, and that's their conclusion. they found the kremlin attacked hillary clinton and directed resources to that end. i'm not saying that russia's effort were decisive in our election's outcome, that's not the point. the point is we were victims of a cyber account and recent news accounts indicate russia may have information about mr. trump
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and can use that to compromise the presidency, and it cannot be business as usual, and i was able to introduce bipartisan legislation yesterday along with other senators, which will impose enhanced santions on russia in its ongoing aggression in ukraine and syria. we need to stand up to the bully in moscow and increase the cost for his behavior. so i was disappointed in your prepared opening remarks submitted to the committee yesterday there was no mention about the direct confirmed cyber attack by russia on america. but you did find time to say it was the absence of american leadership that this door was left open and unattended, and so i want to know what additional actions the united states should have taken against russia in your view? do you, for example, support
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additional santions against russia demonstrating america's leadership like what my colleagues and i introduced yesterday? i am sure you can understand why i and many of my colleagues have deep concerns about your relationship with mr. putin, and this is not a question of what you saw when you gazed into his eyes, and you don't strike me as somebody likely to be naive, but how exxon conducted itself directly and indirectly, and while i do not suggest it was your intent, it's not too great of a distance from exxon's business partnerships to the kremlin. you will be representing a president who may pwhraeut unly ignore the consensus of 17 independent intelligent agencies that said the russians interfered with the election in
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an unprecedented way, and the same president to who you will report may ignore putin's interference in syria where russian forces partnered with the sia militia to shift battlefield momentum towards a dictator guilty of war crimes, and russia is backing bashar al assad who barrel bombed and tortured the syria people into submission, and yet president trump may take quick steps to make putin a ally of the united states. there's serious discussions for russia and the plans for putin and we need to understand your views as the chairman has said on the critical issues of national security. in addition if we take seriously your tenure and experience at exxon helps you as secretary of state, and there are serious discussions about the potential
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of conflicts of interest that arise from your long and corporate tenure. for far too long u.s. policy has treated core government become diplomat, i want to know if governance issues will become a primary consideration. i've always worked to treat government issues as one of the most important aspects of our foreign policy. i have been centrally involved in several legislative efforts over the years to bring trans r transparency to attractive industries to foster high standards of uncorrupt practices and to use all the tools at our disposal when it comes to protecting human rights in civil societies. i'm troubled that exxon under your leadership appears to have been pushing in the opposition direction. mr. tillerson, we have much to discuss. if confirmed you will be assuming your new job at a consequential time. i believe the united states today stands at a turning point in history. national power, economic, military, diplomatic is being
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redefine and redistributed across the globe. international institutions, international financial and economic orders are under distress. climate change is causing irreparable harm and creating and leading to greater instability. in many parts of the world there's a view that american power, determination and our support for american values is uncertain. and clearly candidate trump added to that uncertainty. we have global challenges. the middle east is rnd going a period of unprecedented violence and instability. iran is committed to confrontations with the united states and its allies fomenting terrorism to challenge international order. there are no less than three civil wars in thus part of the world. u.s. leadership is required to not only support movement toward negotiated political settlements. six years after the hope of arab spring they've entered into a long winter in which many governments are sliding into space for civil society and open economies. e fractured middle east underscores my fundamental
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belief that the united states cannot pursue a hard-nosed security agenda or economic ties without prioritizing values such as political inclusion, human rights and free act of media of civil society. without these elements, unstableness will perassist. stemming the flow of refugees heading to europe's shore. i also stress that our important partner in this part of the world, israel, needs more than tweets about how great our relationship is going to be. i hope we will hear from you today concrete visions with specific proposals for the way the forward and strengthening that strategic partnership. despite the challenges, encouraging opportunities exist for our country. president obama leaves the next administration as an inher tense, strengthened relationships with allies in europe and asia, india and growing economic relations with countries across sub-saharan
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africa that provide promising platforms to advance u.s. security and economic interest. i recognize that what i outlined here may not be in president-elect's vision of the world but i believe that core values like standing up against violations of international law, against war crimes, against human rights violations, against corruption and speaking up for democracy and freedom of speech must be at the forefront of america's foreign policy agenda i want to note if confirmed, you'll be taking over as leader of one of the most skilled and able worked forces of any organizations on the planet. our foreign affairs and development professionals are truly among the most able and dedicated of our public servants from the front lines safeguarding our national security. and as ranking member of this committee, i have benefited greatly from their insight and counsel over the years. i hope and trust and encourage you'll take full advantage of the dedicated public servants of the department of state and usaid should you be confirmed.
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they are deeply committed to protecting and extending our nation's values and interests. i'm certain that you and our and our nation will benefit between a relationship betweenior office and the department you've been nominated to lead. mr. chairman, i look forward to hearing from our witness, and i look forward to questions. >> mr. tillerson, thank you for being here. i think you've been adequately introduced, and i think the world knows more about you than they ever thought today. so without using any more time, we thank you for being here today. i know you may have some family members to introduce, which is always helpful. and if you wish to do so, begin with that and then with your comments. >> thank you, mr. chairman. yes, i do have members of my family with me today. my wife renda, for more than 30 years who has kept a welcoming home when i would come back from my many travels and also our sons and five grandchildren. my sister jopeters, life-long
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educator, high school math teacher, math teacher, coach, teaching many years in the texas public school systems. my sister, dr. rand hamilton, family practice physician at abilene, texas, for more than 30 years and my brother-in-law, judge lee hamilton who is now finishing or just begun to serve his fifth term on the bench at the 104th district of the state district courts of texas in abilene, texas. i appreciate so much the love and support they've given me in my past endeavors but most particularly that they'd come all the way up from texas to be with me today. good morning, chairman corker and others. i'm honored to have the backing of senator cornyn, senator cruz from my home state of texas. i do want to thank senator nunn for his commitment to nuclear nonproliferation, something he remains as steadfast today as ever. and as secretary gates for his service to eight u.s. presidents and his own leadership as
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president of the boy scouts of america. chairman corker, ranking member cardin and members of the committee, it's an honor to appear before you today as president-elect trump's nominee for secretary of state. and seek the apruprove alf this committee and the full senate for my confirmation. i come before you at a piv ol time in the history of our nation and our world. everywhere we look, people and nations are deeply unsettled. old ideas and international norms which were well understood and governed behaviors in the past may no longer be effective in our time. we face considerable threats in this evolving new environment. china has emerged as an economic power in global trade, and our interactions have been both friendly and adversarial. while russia seeks respect and relevance on the global stange, its recent activities have disregarded america's interest.
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radical islam is not a new ideology, but it is hateful, deadly and an illegitimate expression of the islamic faith. adversaries like iran and north korea pose grave threats to the world because of their refusal to conform to international norms. as we confront these realities, how should america respond? my answer is simple. to achieve the stability tha is foundational to peace and securi in the 21st century, american leadership must not only be renewed, it must be asserted. we have many advantages on which to build. our alliances are durable and our allies are looking for return of our lead areship. our men and women in uniform of the finest fighting force, and we possess -- [ hecklers ]
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>> rex tillerson, i reject you. my home was destroyed by hurricane sandy. >> our men and women in uniform are the finest fighting force, and we possess the world's largest economy. america's still the destination of choice for people the world over because of our track record of benevolence and hope for our fellow man. america has been indispensable in providing the stability to prevent another world war, increase global prosperity and encourage the expansion of liberty. our role in the world has also historically entailed a place of moral leadership. the scope of international affairs, america's level of good will toward the world is unique. and we must continue to display a commitment to personal liberty, human dignity and principled action in our foreign policy. quite simply, we are the only
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global superpower with the means and the moral compass capable of shaping the world for good. if we do not lead, we risk plunging the world deeper into confusion and danger. but we have stumbled. in recent decades, we have cast american leadership into doubt, and some instances, we have withdrawn from the world. in others, we have intervened with good intentions but did not achieve the stability and global security we sought. instead, our actions and our nonactions have triggered a host of unincontinueded consequences and created a void of uncertainty. today our friends still want to help us, but they dont know how. our adversaries have been emboldens to take advantage of this absence of american leadership. in this campaign, president-elect trump proposed a bold new commitment to advancing american interest in our foreign policy. i hope to explain what this approach means and how i would
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implement it if confirmed as secretary of state. americans welcome this rededication to american security, liberty and prosperity. but new leadership is incomplete without accountability. if accountability does not start with ourselves, we cannot credibly extd it to our friends and our adversaries. we must hold ourselves accountable to upholding the promises we make to others. and america, they can be trusted in good faith is essential to supporting our partners, achieving our goals and assuring our security. we must hold our allies accountable to commitments they make. we cannot look the other way at allies who do not meet their obligations. this is an injustice not only to us but to longstanding friends who honor their promises and bolster our own national security, such as israel. and we must hold those who are not our friends accountable to the agreements they


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