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When you consider the obvious contempt that Putin and his team have for President Obama, Secretary of State John Kerry, Hillary Clinton and anyone else from the administration, it seems clear that Putin's friendship with Tillerson is likely the most constructive high-level Russo-American relationship there is.
Mitt Romney turned him down, hooray! Mitt for President in 2020!
Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, Mr. Tillerson (Rex Tillerson, Chairman and
Chief Executive Officer of the ExxonMobil Corporation), colleagues and
I am very pleased that the company Rosneft has joined today to sign a
strategic partnership agreement with one of the worlda**s leaders on this
market, ExxonMobil. This project promises to be highly interesting and
ambitious. Today's event is sure to receive a positive reaction from the
world energy markets; Exxona**s exploration of Russiaa**s strategic
continental and deep water shelf will open new horizons.
Of course, the scope of investment in this project is very large. In all,
direct investments will amount to 200-300 billion. Including funding for
development, infrastructure and new construction, the amount of investment
could reach 500 billion.
ExxonMobil is certainly one of the worlda**s leading companies that also
operates in difficult conditions of the Arctic. It is my understanding
that your company has worked on the continental shelf for about 50 years
and has developed unique technology. I was surprised to learn that your
platform in Canada can sustain an impact from a one-tonne iceberg.
For Rosneft, this offers great prospects. Mr. Tillerson, I believe that an
agreement has been reached with your colleagues that will allow Rosneft to
work in your fields, including in the United States, in the Gulf of
Mexico, Texas, and to participate in a number of joint projects in the
territory of third countries (but this is a question of both companiesa**
I am pleased that such a good, reliable, strategic partner has emerged for
us. The Russian government will support your efforts to ensure the success
of your business in Russia.
Secretary of State consideration
Rex Tillerson was first recommended to Trump for the Secretary of State role by Condoleezza Rice, during her meeting with Trump in late November. Rice's recommendation of Tillerson to Trump was backed up by Robert Gates, three days later. Media speculation that he was being considered for the position began on December 5, 2016.
On December 9, transition officials reported that Tillerson was the top candidate for the position surpassing Mitt Romney and David Petraeus. His nomination was reportedly being advocated by Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner.
On the evening of December 10, the BBC cited NBC reports that "sources close to Mr Trump [were] ... saying that Mr Tillerson is likely to be named next week" and that former UN ambassador John Bolton "will serve as his deputy". On December 12, The New York Times reported that he had been chosen.