Marco Rubio in Spotlight as Senate Holds Confirmation Vote for Rex Tillerson

Amanda Casanova | Contributor | Monday, January 23, 2017

Marco Rubio in Spotlight as Senate Holds Confirmation Vote for Rex Tillerson

Sen. Marco Rubio said he would support secretary of state nomineeRex Tillerson “despite reservations.”

Rubio posted on Facebook Monday that he was worried about Tillerson’s refusal to acknowledge that Russian President Vladimir Putin has committed war crimes in Syria.

“Despite his extensive experience in Russia and his personal relationship with many of its leaders, he claimed he did not have sufficient information to determine whether Putin and his cronies were responsible for ordering the murder of countless dissidents, journalists and political opponents,” Rubio said of Tillerson. “He indicated he would support sanctions on Putin for meddling in our elections only if they met the impossible condition that they not affect U.S. businesses operating in Russia.

“Despite my reservations, I will support Mr. Tillerson’s nomination in committee and in the full Senate,” Rubio said.

The Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to meet Monday to vote on Tillerson’s nomination. Rubio’s support means the nomination is virtually clinched.

Rubio, who made a failed bid for the GOP presidential nomination against Trump, told Tillerson at a committee hearing earlier this month that he needed “moral clarity.” The two disagreed over Putin and human rights violations in Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland said Monday he isn’t voting for Tillerson because of the former Exxon Mobil CEO’s unwillingness to hold Russia accountable for war crimes.

Sunday, Republican Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham both offered endorsements of Tillerson.


Photo courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Publication date: January 23, 2017