tv Secretary of State Nominee Rex Tillerson Testifies at Confirmation Hearing CSPAN January 23, 2017 12:11pm-4:29pm EST
coverage on cspan 2. then this afternoon the senate foreign relgs committee will meet to consider the nomination of rex tillerson to be secretary of state. that will be live on cspan 3 again starting at 4:30 eastern. two announcements from members of the senate foreign relations committee about how they will vote on the tillerson nomination. republican marco rubio says he is voting yes. in a statement he says he was concerned mr. tillerson has refused to publicly acknowledge that vladimir putin has committed war crimes. but senator rubio says he is balancing those concerns with mr. tillerson's experience. also this morning the top democrat on the foreign relations committee ben cardin announced he will vote against the nomination of the former exxonmobil ceo saying he prioritized personal interests ahead of national strurt interests. he also said mr. tillerson was
unwilling to rule out a ban of muslims in america. the debate will get underway at 4:30 eastern. you can see it live here on cspan 3. right now, part of mr. tillerson's hearing earlier this month before the foreign security committee. you agree with me that creating free democratic societies around the world that is in our long term national security interest? >> without question. >> do you also agree that russia under mr. putin's leadership fails in that category? >> yes, sir. >> so what we try to do, in order to provide national -- international leadership is to put a face on an issue. thousands of people in russia have been harmed or killed as a result of mr. putin's leadership. and millions have been impacted by that. there's one person who lost his life in a courageous way, serge
miknitski. a young attorney representing a client with u.s. interests. found corruption. did what any lawyer is supposed to do. reported it to the authorities. as a result, he was arrested, tortured, and killed. and those who benefitted from the corruption were held with no accountability whatsoever. through u.s. leadership, we brought that case to the international forum. the congress has passed a law named after him, others countries have now passed similar laws to deny our banking system and the right to visit our country to those who perpetrated those gross violations of human rights that were not held accountable by russia. do you support that law? >> yes, sir, i do. >> i thank you for that, because under the obama administration there have been 39 individuals who have been individually sanctioned under the that law and five more were just recently added on monday.
that law provides for congress to be able to submit through appropriate channels additional names to be reviewed by the administration for inclusion for sanction. do you commit that you will follow that provision on names in that we submit to you for potential sanctions for human rights violations under that law? >> senator, i will ensure if confirmed myself and the state department does comply with that law. >> and this year under the national defense authorization act that was extended globally. it now applies to human rights violations in -- throughout the world. do you also commit to support the global miknitski law using the tools of our visa restrictions to prevent human rights violators from coming to america? >> senator, again consistent
with all applicable laws that might impact immigration, we'll endeavor to comply with that, yes. >> the laws allow the secretary of state to -- visas are privileges to come to, he ma. there is no -- there is no due process issue on issuing of visas. s that privilege to be able to come to a country. so we have -- there is no -- i'm not aware of any restrictions on your ability to withdraw the right of someone to come to america. there may be -- other than through treaties that we have diplomats who have to come in which is extempt from that provision. >> i understand senator. that is what i intended. i would make sure a full examination was made of any and all applicable laws and policies. then we would follow those and implement. >> you mentioned in your statement about the invasion by russia of crimea. does russia have a, in your view arc legal claim to crimea? >> no, sir.
that was a taking of territory that was not theirs. >> and do you agree that russia has not complied with the minsk agreement in ukraine? >> the process for implementing that agreement as i understand it, continues. and no full complex of all the minsk accords has not yet been achieved. >> i want to get your view on sanction has the united states employed. maybe i'll drill down if i might by asking you this first question. you stated in your statement that part of the reasons why russia or we were infective in preventing russia is we didn't exercise strong enough international leadership. what would you have done or recommended to have been done to prevent russia from doing what it did? >> well, senator, in terms of the taking of crimea, i think -- my understanding is that that
caught a lot of people by surprise. it certainly caught me by surprise, just as a private citizen. so i think the real question was the response to the taking of crimea that then led to subsequent actions by russia, which i mentioned. the next action being coming here across the border of eastern ukraine with both military assets and men. that was the next illegal action. i think the absence of a very firm and forceful response to the taking of crimea was judged by the leadership in russia as a weak response, and therefore -- >> so what would you have done. after we were surprised by what they did in taking over crimea, what should the u.s. leadership have done in response to that that we didn't do? >> i would have recommended that the ukraine take all of its military assets it had available, put them on that eastern border, provide those
assets with defensive weapons that are necessary just to defense themselves. announce that the u.s. is going to provide them intelligence and that there will either nato or u.s. will provide air surveillance over that bore door to monitor any movements. >> your recommendation would then be to do a more robust ply supply of military? >> yes, sir. i think what russian leadership would have understood is a powerful response that indicated yes you took the crimea, but this stops right here. >> so as to understand, our nato partners, particularly in the baltics and poland, are very concerned about russian aggression. nato has deployed troops in this region in order to show russia that article five means something. i take it you support that type of action? >> yes, i do. that is the type of response that russia expects. if russia acts with force --
taking of crimea was an act of force. they didn't just volunteer themselves. so it required a poe portional act -- a proportional show of force to indicate to russia that from will be no more take of territory. >> that's encouraging to me to hear you say that because it's not necessarily consistent to what mr. trump has been saying with regards to article five commitments by the united states. i appreciate your commitment -- or your views on the that issue. let me get to the response that was done. we imposed u.s.-led sanctions against russia as a result of its conduct in ukraine. we went to europe and were able to get europe to act. united states, in my view, wanted to go even further but we couldn't get europe to go beyond what they were willing to do. do you agree or disagree with that strategy, for the united states to lead by showing sanctions as we did?
>> senator, sanctions are a powerful tool, and they are an important tool in terms of deterring additional action once agentors have acted up and we want to deter any further action on their part. so, yes, american leadership is oftentimes if not almost always required to demonstrate that first step. >> and as you understand, unless we move, and we have to move in a strong position, we're going to be the best. we are going to get the strongest reaction on sanctions from the united states. we saw that in iran. and i know that some of us have mentioned to you the legislation was followed yesterday. i don't know if you have had a chance yet to respond to it or not. i might do that for questions for the record. but we have legislation i would urge you to take a look at that seems consistent with what you are saying here that would provide the administration, the administration, with the tools to show russia that if you
attack us by cyber or you continue to do what you are doing in ukraine or what you are doing in georgia, that there is going to be an economic price you are going to pay. i take it you believe that's a powerful tool and one that he would consider applying. >> senator, i have not had the opportunity to review the legislation. i'm aware that it has been introduced. and yes, i think in carrying out the -- the state department carrying out its diplomat maes or carrying out its important role than trying to negotiate a different course of action, to a different pathway, we need a strong deterrent in our hand. it's the old tenet of teddy roosevelt, walk softly, carry a big stick. even in diplomat maes it is useful to have a stick that is in your hand so that whether you use it or not it becomes part of that conversation. >> i understand. let me ask one final question. i was meeting with mr. pruitt yesterday and i asked him about
his vision of global leadership on climate issues. he said you should ask that question to the secretary of state nominee. so i'm going to ask it to you. we were part of cop 21. do you agree that the united states should continue in international leadership on climate change issues with the international community? >> i think it's important that the united states maintain its seat at the table on the conversations around how to address threats of climate change which do require a global response. no one country going to solve this alone. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator rubio. >> welcome, mr. tillerson. do you believe during the 2016 presidential campaign russian intelligence services directed a campaign of active measures involving the hacking of e-mails, the strategic leak of e-mails the use of internet patrols and the dissemination of fake news with the goal of
disrupting the election process. >> i did read the interagency report that was released on january the 6th. that report clearly is troubling and indicates that all of the acts that you described were undertaken. >> based on your knowledge of russian leaders and russian politics, do you believe these activities could have happened without the knowledge and the consent of vladimir putin? >> i'm not in a position to be able to make that determination. again, that's indicated in the report but i know there is additional classified information that might inform my view. >> you have engaged in significant business activities in russia. i'm sure you are aware that very few things of a major proportion happen in that country without vladimir putin's permission. i asked on your views of russian politics and your experiences if possible for something like this allowing the united states elections to have happened without vladimir putin knowing about it and authorizing it? >> i think that's a fair
assumption. >> that he would have? >> yes. >> if congress passed a bill imposing mandatory visa bans and sanctions on people on persons who engage on cyber activities involving the united states would you sign it. >> i would want to examine all four corners. >> we would sanction people who are involved in cyber attacks against the united states and interfering in our elections. >> the threat of cyber attacks is a broad issue. tooes those are coming from many corners of the world. certainly this most recent manifestation and i think the new threat posed in terms of how russia has used thises a a tool that introduces even another element of threat. but cyber attack are occurring from many nations. >> so no matter where they come from, belgium, if they come from france -- if someone is conducting sidebarer attacks against the united states and we pass a law that authorizes the
president to sanction them or actually imposes these sanction as mandatory, would you advise the president sign it? >> i think it is the second element that you described that leaves the executive branch no latitudes or flexibility in doing with the broad away of cyber threats. i think it's important those be dealt with on a country by country basis taking all other elements of the relationship into consideration. giving the executive the tool is one thing. requiring him to use it, i would have concerns. >> if it was mandatory you would not be able to have the president to sign it because you want to have the president have the flexibility to decide which countries to sanction and not to sanction. >> under which circumstances to sanction. >> because you want to be able to take other things into account like for example, the desire to perhaps improve relations with that country and therefore maybe the president doesn't want to sanction them
even though they are attacking us. >> there could be a whole array of issues that require consideration, including trading issues, trade relation issues, mutual agreements around our national security. so i don't think it's -- i don't think it's appropriate, and certainly for me at this time, to indicate that i would just say that it is a blanket, a blanket application. i think that is the role of the executive branch. it is the role of the secretary of state and the skate department to assist and inform the president in judgments about how to use what is a clearly powerful tool. >> again, i mean what troubling about your answer is the implication that somehow if there is some country that we are trying to improve relations with or have significant economic ties with, the president, you may advise the president not to impose sanctions on that country, on individuals in that country out of concern that could it damage our -- the rest of our relationship with them on a cyber attack, which is a direct
attack on our national security, on our electoral process. let me ask you, would you advise the president-elect to repeal approximate obama administration's recent executive orders regarding cyber security and russian sbeer feerns in the 2016 elections? >> i think the president-elect has indicated, and if confirmed i would support that what's really required is a comprehensive assessment of our cyber threat and cyber security policies. in my view, based on what i've been able to read and have been briefed, we do not have a cyber security policy. we do not have a comprehensive strategy around how to deal with what has been a rapidly emerging threat. as i said, we are seeing it manifest itself in ways we never envisioned. >> i understand the need for a cyber security plan. we have to have one to protect ourselves and handle attacks against our country. that is separate from whether people who have already conducted attacks should be sanctions and singled out.
there is an executive order now effective that sanctioned those individuals. my question s do you believe those sanctions should be repealed by the incoming president? >> if confirmed i would have to examine it not just with the president but with other agencies that are going to have input on this as to their views. >> if all the executive order says is that certain individuals responsible for cyber actions against the united states will be sanctions and you still need to examine whether that's a good idea or not; is that correct? >> yes, sir. >> let me ask you this question, is vladimir putin a war criminal? >> i would not use that term. >> well let me describe the situation in aleppo. perhaps that will help you reach that conclusion n. aleppo, mr. putin has directed his military to conduct a definite stating campaign. he targeted schools. markets, not just assisted the syrians in doing it. his military has targeted schools and markets and other civilian infrastructure. it resulted in the deaths of
thousands of civilians. this is not the first time mr. putin was involved in campaigns this kind. back when he was prime minister before he was elected i'm sure you are aware of that time there was a series of bombings and they blamed it on the chechens. mr. putin ordered the air force to bomb the chechen capital of grozny. they used skud missiles to hit hospitals, the main outdoor market packed with shomers. 137 people died instantly. they used cluster munitions. we used badle battlefield weapons against civilians. when it was all said and done, an estimated 300,000 civilians were killed and the city was completely destroyed. by the way this is credible body of reporting open source that all of those bomb prosecution part of a black flag operation on the part of the fsv.
if you wasn't to know the motivation. his approval rating started at 31%. and after three months it was at 70%. based on what he has done, you are still not prepared to si vladimir putin and his military violated the rules of war and conducted war crimes in aleppo? >> those are very, very serious charges to make and i would want to have much more information before reaching a conclusion. i understand there is a body of record in the public domain. i'm sure there is a body of record in the classified domain. and i think in order to deal with a serious question like this -- >> mr. tillerson, what is happening if aleppo is in the public domain. >> i would want to be fully informed before advising the president. >> ian courage you there is so much issue about what happened in aleppo, leaving the chechen issue aside, what happened there is -- it is never accept, you
would agree, for a military to specifically target civilians, which is what has happened there, through the russian military. i find it discouraging your inability to cite that which i think is globally accepted. i want to move really quickly to an additional question. i want to enter two things into the record without objection. >> without objection. >> the first is a partial list of dissidents of vladimir putin who were suspiciously murdered or died under highly suspicious circumstances. the second thing i wandr want to add is a letter addressed to this committee by a man who himself was mysteriously poisoned and who is an opponent of the putin regime. i would like to enter that into the record. >> without objection. >> mr. tillerson do you believe that vladimir putin and his cronies are responsible for ordering the murder of countless
dissidents, journalists and political opponents? >> i do not have sufficient information to make that claim? are you aware that people who oppose vladimir putin wind up dead all over the world, poisoned, shot in the back of the head, and do you think that was coincidental or do you think it was quite possible or likely as i believe that they were part of an effort to murder his political opponents? >> well, people who speak up for freedom in regimes that are oppressive are often at threat. and these things happen to them. in terms of assigning specific responsibilities, i would have to have more information. as i indicated, i feel it's important in advising the president, if confirmed, that i deal with facts, that i deal with sufficient information, which means having access to all information, and i'm sure there is a large body of information that i've never seen that's in the classified realm. i look forward, if confirmed, to becoming fully informed. but i am not willing to make conclusions on what is only
publicly available or been publicly reported. >> none of this is classified, mr. tillerson. these people are dead, political opponents. >> your question is people who are directly responsible for that i'm not disputing these people are dead. >> senator menendez. >> thank you. mr. itemerson, congratulations on your nomination. thank you for coming by to meet with me. i would like to take this opportunity to expand upon the conversation we had last week. since you have worked in one sector for one company throughout your entire career, getting a sense of your world view is incredibly important since you will be the chief advocate and adviser to the president-elect on those issues. so i'd like to go through a series of questions. i think many of them can be answered by a simple yes or no. others will probably take a greater more extensive answer. so and you have alluded to some of this in your opening statement. let me go through several of them. do you believe it is in the national interests of the united
states to continue to support international laws and norms that were established after world war ii? >> yes, sir. >> do you believe that the international order includes respecting the territorial integrity of sovereign countries and the inviability of their borders? >> yes, sir. >> did russia violate this international order when it forcefully annexed crimia and invade ukraine? >> yes, it did. >> did russia's continuing occupation of foreign countries continue to violate international laws and norms? >> i'm not sure which specific countries you are referring to. >> the annexation of crimea? >> yes, sir. >> the eastern ukraine, georgia just to mention a few? >> yes, sir. >> does russia and syria's rgt tag bombing campaign in aleppo, on hospitals, for example, violate this international order? >>io, that is not acceptable behavior. >> do you believe these actions constitute war crimes? >> again, senator, i don't have
sufficient information to make that type of a serious conclusion. coming to that conclusion is going to require me to have additional specific facts. >> do you understand what the standard is for a war crime? >> i do. >> and knowing that standard and knowing what is all within the realm of public information, you cannot say whether those actions constitute a war crime or not? >> i would not to want to rely solely upon what has been reported in the public realm. i would want confirmation from agencies who would be able to present me with indisputable facts. >> senator menendez, if i could -- >> you won't take my time. >> i'm not taking your time. it will be added back. if you had sufficient evidence, though, in looking at classified information that that had taken place, would not not be a war crime? >> yes, sir. >> thank you. for all of these answers that you have given me, does the president-elect agree with you? >> the president-elect and i have not had the opportunity to discuss this specific issue or this specific area.
>> well, in your statement on page 3 you say in his campaign, president-elect trump opposed a bowl new commitment to advancing american commitment in our foreign policy. i hope to explain this approach and how it would implemented this policy. i assume to some agree that you have had some discussion about what it is that that world view is going to be in order to understand whether you are willing to execute that on behalf of the person you are going to work for. >> in a broad construct and in term of the principles that are going to guide that, yes, sir. >> i would have thought that russia would be at the very top of that considering all the actions that have taken place. did not that happen? >> that has not occurred yet, sir. >> amazing. you built a career on exxonmobil that you said afforded you to engage regularly with world leaders plug vladimir putin in russia. in 2013 he awarded you with the
friendship award. in our conversations you told me you had access to the russian president during you are tenure there. in 2014, exxonmobil lobbied aggressively against sanctions on russian after their invasion of ukraine. you employed well-known washington based lobbyists to support these efforts. you personally visited the pous white house and reported that you were engaged quote at the highest levels of government. in essence, exxon became the in-house lobbyist for russia against these sanctions. sanctions are one of the most effective diplomatic tools in our arsenal, one we rely on to avoid putting american lives at risk by engaging in traditional kinetic warfare. now today in response to a previous question by senator cardin you said sanctions are a powerful tool. but you have made statements and given speeches where you have said you do not believe
sanctions are a useful tool. so if sanctions are not a useful tool, have you changed your view? what are the tools of peaceful diplomacy you will get countries to return and act within the international order. what are you going to say to vladimir putin when he says to you, but rex, you said sanctions were bad? >> senator, i think it's important to acknowledge that when sanctions are imposed they by their design are going to harm american business. that's the idea is to disrupt america's business engagement in whatever country is being targeted for sampgs. so broadly. >> i don't think it's to disrupt american business. i think it's to disrupt the economies of those countries. now american business may or may not be affected to some degree. >> american business -- if america is going to have an influence on disrupting those economies, then the intent behind the sanctions is to disrupt that country's access to
american business investment, money flows, technology -- >> financial sectors. >> correct. so by its very -- i'm only stating a fact. i'm not debating it. but the fact is sanctions in order to be implemented to impact american business interests n. protecting america's interest, and i think this is where the president-elect would see the argument as well, is sanctions are a powerful tool. let's design them well. let's target them well. and then let's enforce them fully. and to the extent we can, if we can have other countries join us, or if we are designing sanctions in concert, let's ensure those sanctions apply equally everywhere so u.s. interest is not -- >> when you have made your remarks and i have a long list which i'll sbrus for the record. you did not differentiate that way. you basically made the broad case that sanctions are not an effective tool.
now i had heard your response now. but in your opening statement you said that quote america must continue to display a -- and that we are the only global super power with the means and moral come pass capable of shaping the world for good. i totally agree with you in that respect. but mr. tillerson our efforts in leading the international community for example, in sanction against our adversaries like iran and north korea represent exactly that, leadership, and a moral come pass. it is a not about disadvantaging american business. it's about putting patriotism over profit. diplomacy is not the same as deal making. diplomacy is requiring getting other countries often to do things they may not otherwise want to do. and there isn't something necessarily to trade to do it for. this is how we were able to build an kpektive sanctions network for iran through
sanctions from congress and pressure from from secretary of states across different administration we were able to build the framework of primary and secondary actions that ultimately crippled iran's economy. you lobbied against the comprehensive iran sanction account. and divestment act, you wanted to eliminate secondary sanctions that would prevent joint ventures. this makes sense as in 2003, 2004, 2005 you were engaged to a subsidiary company with interests in countries including iran, syria and the sudan. countries that except for the maneuver of your subsidiary, exxonmobil could not have been dealing with. exxonmobil is listed as a coalition member of uas engage, an advocacy group that lob east
against sanctions. this group lobbied against sanctions including those against iran. so my question is, with that as a history, with the work that you did in the spring of 2011, where you oversaw an exxonmobil deal with the kurdish regional government iraq after the united states government expressly did not want to see that happen, fear nag a deal would underbehind the u.s. policy of one iraq and lead the country closer to civil war, what message are you now going to be able to send to american business who is are intent on pursuing their own interested at the expense of u.s. policies and potential for political stability in foreign countries. how are regoing the recalibrate your priorities as secretary of state. your shareholders are the american people and their security and their interests. >> well, there was a lot in that question senator, around which i
could respond. >> i'll give you the rest of my time. >> i have never lobbied against sanctions personally. >> but the company you directed did. >> to my knowledge, exxon never directly lobbied against sanctions. not to my nudge. in terms of all the other actions that were mentioned there, they have been done -- they were all undertaken with a great deal of transparency and openness and engagement and input to the process. that test butde of the american process is that others are invited to express their view and inform the process. but that -- my pivot now, if confirmed to be secretary of state, will have one mission only. and that is to represent the interests of the american people. and as i have stated multiple times, sanctions are an important and powerful tool. but designing poor sanctions and having poor and ineffective sanctions can have a worse effect than having no sanctions at all if they convey a weak
response. so it's important in designing sanctions that as i've said that they are carefully crafted, they are carefully targeted with an intended effect. and then enforced. and to the extent that american leadership can broaden those participations, and you are exactly right, the iran sanctions were extraordinarily effective because other joined in. >> thank you. >> senator menendez has played an incredible role for our nation making sure that sanctions are in place and has done -- has led us all, if you will, relative to iran. as my first longer interjection let the record say that your time ran over to accommodate the interjection i made earlier. it's my understanding, i think you called me during this time, that your concern with the sanctions that were in place relative to iran were not that they were put in place. but that the europeans had put
them in a way that was different, and it caused an an adverse situation for u.s. business relative to european business; is that correct? >> that was with respect to the sanction for russia. that's correct. >> with that -- and let me just on senator rubio's questions, i understand how a nominee would wish to be careful how they answer, especially one that plans to do what they say. in the event with many of those where he was asking about war crimes, if you were able through your own independent knowledge in working with classified agencies here within the government to determine that the types of activities that he so well articulated took place, you would agree that those, in fact, would be war crimes? >> yes, sir. >> senator johnson? >> thank you mr. chairman. welcome, mr. tillerson.
i imagine you are having a pretty good time already. i want to pick up a little bit on sanctions because i have had my own legitimate concerns about the effectiveness of sanctions and the double edged sword nature of them. for example, again, you are pretty well aware of events and public opinions on russia. i mean i'm concerned that some not well designed sanctions can actually solidify for example, vladimir putin's standing within russia. is that a legitimate concern on sanctions? >> yes, sir, i think it is. >> in your testimony, a couple of statements. you said that russia is not unpredictable. which is another way of saying that russia is pretty predictable. russia does not think like we do. can you further expand on both those comments? >> well, in terms of their -- >> why is tillerson -- because they both want to drill and burn the arctic. that will ruin the climate and
destroy the future for our children and grandchildren! please don't put exxon in charge of the state department. protect our children and grandchildren. please don't put exxon in charge of the state department. >> if you would, i can easily add time myself, but if you would stop the clock when weiss types of interferences take place, i would appreciate that. with that, senator johnson -- >> if you forgot the question, it was explain your comments that russia is predictable, basically, and that russia does not think like we do. expand on that. >> well, in my experience of both dealing with russia and representatives of russian government and russian entities, and then as my -- the length of time i've spent in russia as an observer, my experience with the
russians are that they are very calculating. they are very strategic in their thinking, and they develop a plan. -- >> expendable. and our home state of texas, people are resisting dated pipelines. whether or not you become secretary of state, oil is dead, and people will not stop. senators, be brave. stop this man. protect the vulnerable. senators, be brave. protect this man, protect the vulnerable. >> apologize for that, mr. tillerson. i now you can maybe answer the question unimpeded. >> i have found the russians to be very strategic in their thinking, very tactical, and they generally have a very clear plan that they have laid before them. so in terms of -- when i make the statement they are not unpredictable, if -- if one is able to step back and understand
what their long-term motivation and is you see that they are going to chart a course, then it is an understanding of how are they likely to carry that plan out? and where are all of the elements of that plan that are on the table? in my view, the leadership of russia has a plan. it is a geographic plan that is in front of them. and they are taking actions to implement that plan. they are judging responses. and then they are making the next step in the plan based upon the response. in that regard, they are not unpredictable. if you -- if russia does not receive an adequate response to an action, they will execute the next step of the plan. >> so be a little more specific. summarize that plan that you see that they have. >> well, russia, more than anything, wants to re-establish its role in the global world order. they have a view that following the break up of the soviet union
they were mistreated in some respects in the transition period. they believe they deserve a rightful role in the global world order because they are world order because they are a nuclear power. and they are searching as to how to establish that. and for most of the the past 20-plus years since the demise of the soviet union, they were not in a position to assert that. they have spent years to develop the capability to do that and i think that's now what we're witnessing is an assertion on their part in order to force a conversation about what is russia's role in the global world order. and so the steps being taken are simply to make that point, that russia is here, russia matters, and a force to be dealt with. that is a predictable course of action they're taking. i think the important conversation that we have to have with them is does russia
want to now and forever be an adversary of the united states? do you want this to be worse or does russia desire a different relationship? we're not likely to ever be friends. i think as others have noted, our value systems are starkly different. we do not hold the same values. but i also know the are russian people because i have spent so many years in russia. there is scope to define a different relationship that can bring down the temperature around the conflicts that we have today, and i think that as secretary gates alluded to and as secretary nun allowed to in the opening remarks, that dialogue is critical so that these things do not spin out of control. we need to move russia from being an adversary to partner and in other issues, a adversary, and not unlike the
comments on china. at times china is friendly, ad at times china is an adversary. but with russia, engagement is necessary in order to define what is that relationship going to be, and then we will know how to chart our own plan of action to respond to that. >> in my mind, looking at the different nations, you have rivals, allies, friendly adversaries and enemies. so you are putting russia in the friendly -- >> they are unfriendly, and i hope they do not move to enemy, because it will imply more direct conflict with one another. >> but you don't have much hope to move them into the maybe friendly rival cat goirks mayeg partners where we have mutual
interests? >> senator, i tend to think in three categories. friends, and they are our partners and they are our adversaries, and at times, certain that our friends are partners from time to time on specific action, and adversaries from time to time can be partners, but on other issues, we are just not going to agree and we remain adversaries, and adversary at the ideological level is one thing, and adversary at the direct conflict level, that is very different. >> i want to switch subjects and i agree with former senator nunn when he says that your business experience, private sector background, your relationship with putin is actually an asset coming to this position. i come from the private sector and i think that perspective is sorely needed. i don't think that we enough people from the private sector. i think that economic strength is inextricably valuable. your background traveling the world, i asked you when we met,
i don't know if you did the calculation, how many different countries have you traveled to? >> i never counted them up. i would say over 40, somewhere between 40 and 50. i never actually counted them. >> how many countries have you done deals with or dealt with the top leadership? >> i have never counted those, but it is certainly in the between 10 and 20 where i was directly engaged in a significant way. >> let me ask you as somebody from the private sector being asked to serve your nation, understanding that you will be going through a process like this, and understanding all of the disclosure, and leaving a life behind that i am sure that you valued. what is the greatest reservation saying yes? >> senator, when i went through all of the analysis all of the reasons to say no were all
selfish reasons, and so i had no reason to say no. >> you obviously had a responsibility as a ceo for exxonmobil and you share responsibility, and your role is going to change. do you have any reservation, and can you kind of describe what your mind set is from making that transition? >> senator, i have no reservations about my clean break with my private sector life. it was a wonderful 41 1/2-year career. i am extraordinarily proud of it. i learned an awful lot, but now i am moving to a completely different responsibility. my love of country, and my patriotism is going to dictate that i serve no one's interest but that of the american people in advancing our own national security. >> as you travel the world, with the business mind set, working at developing projects around the world, you know, obviously, you are hearing from people around the world.
former president carter in june of 2015 was commenting on president obama's foreign policy and here's some excerpts of the quotes, and he said that he can't think of many nations in the world where we have a better relationship now than when we did when he took over, president obama. the united states' influence and prestige in the world is now lower than it was six or seven years. is that your general sense as you are traveling around the world in the last eight years of this administration that our power and influence and prestige and respect is lower, and that we have not developed better relationships around the world? >> well, senator, i don't know if i shared with you in the meeting that we have, but i have shared wit others in the meetings that in many are respects i have spent the last ten years on an unintended listening tour as i have traveled around the world conducting affairs, engaging with the top leaderships, heads of state in many of these countries.
and i have had the opportunity to listen to them express their frustrations, the fears, the concerns as to the withdrawal of and the stepping back of america's leadership, the lack of that engagement. and they are yearning and they want american leadership reasserted. when i met with the president-elect, i asked ultimately to do this, i indicated to him, i said, mr. president, we have a tough hand of cards that you have been dealt. but i said, you know, there is no use of whining about it or complaining or pointing the fingers at anyone, but we will play the hand out, because what i know is that america still holds all of the aces, but we have to draw them out of the the deck. and the leaders around the world want our engagement. you are going to be pushing on the open door, because people want america to come back. >> and a one of the reasons they value the private sector experience, the number of times you used the words, moral
clarity, moral light, facts, use logic, clear priorities, those are the words of business person, that's why i think your spectrum will be very welcome in the state department. thank you, mr. tillerson. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. senator shaheen. >> thank you, mr. tillerson for being willing to consider the nomination which has been put forward to be secretary of state. i agree with the opening statement that the united states has an important role to play in the world, and not only standing up for our interests and rawl yous, but also for democracy, press freedom, human rights, rule of law. you were unwilling to agree with senator rubio's characterization of vladimir putin as a war criminal. and you point out in your statement that russia has disregarded american interests. i would suggest as i think that has been brought out in later testimony that in not only
disregarded the american interest, but the international norms and the humanitarian interests. the state department has described russia as having an authoritarian political system dominated by president vladimir putin and meanwhile, freedom house put russia in a category countries like iran with restricted political rights ruled by one part military dictatorships and religious autocrats. do you any reason to disagree with that? >> and so senator rubio and senator cardin have talked about the people who have been victims of the putin authoritarian regime in russia, and behind me is a poster with a recent new york times' story that i quote, "more of kremlins' opponents are ending
up dead" and i would like to have unanimous consent to enter the article into the record. >> without objection. >> and a picture is worth a million words, and when you put a face to sergei mitviski and we see two other victims of the authoritarian regime in russia, i think it speaks to what is happening there, and how we should think about the country and dealing with president putin. i understand what senator nunn said and -- i mean former senator nunn and secretary gates said when they talk ed about the need to have dialogue with russia and to continue a mill to mill relationship. but it is important to understand who we are dealing with. in 2008, you notably said that there is no respect for the rule of law in russia today, and do you think that continues to be true?
>> that is still the case, yes. >> so i think that you can probably understand, mr. tillerson, why some of us are very concerned about the president-elect's statements praising vladimir putin's leadership, his intelligence, including after being reminded of his ruthless persecution of political enemies, and after receiving compelling information that russia has interfered with our elections. and so do you think that now is the right time to lift sanctions against russia? >> i think it is important that we keep the status quo until we are able to develop what our approach is going to to be. that it will be all part of the approach, and that is the incentives on the one hand or the part of the greater pressure on the other that will be important element developing that approach of that first conversation with russia. if confirmed, that is the
foreign policy step to work through other agencies and again informed in the national security council, and as well as classified information and informed by the views of others to develop that strategic approach to engagement with russia. so i would leave things in the status quo so that we have, are able to convey that this can go either way. >> under your leadership, exxonmobil has invested more than $100 million in the global women's economic opportunity initiative partnering with the u.s. government and foreign governments. as you know, the state department also places a high priority on the global women's empowerment, on gender equity and combatting violence against women. and i was disturbed to find out who the employees of the state department have been who worked
for the gender equity programs, and while i know that has been walked back by that transition team, i think it sends a chilling message to people in the state department and to people concerned about efforts to empower women around the globe. so can i ask whether you agree that we should continue that initiative to empower women, and what steps you would take to ensure that the state department and usaid continue to fund programs to continue growth for women's issues? >> this is a long-term issue that is personally important to me as well. i have seen first-hand the impact of empowering women, and in particular, women's participation in the economic activities in the lesser developed part of the world. this is a really empower area to you, and we talked about it in your office, and there are study
after study to confirm that when you are empowering women in these developing parts of the world, you change the future of the country, because you change the cycle within that family, whether that woman has daughters or sons, when you empower the woman, they see them participating at an economic level electronic changes the way they will view things as they grow. i have seen specific examples visited projects in papua new guinea, by having a coalition of bread bakers, takes very little money, these are women that want the opportunity, what they need is the wherewithal and some structure to guide them around how to conduct a small business. and interesting when the women were successful in selling the bread in villages up and down the trail in the jungle, the next concern when they came to our folks is we got all this money and we're having to hide it all over the place and we're worried somebody is going to steal it. what do we do?
they were introduced to banking. so they were assisted to opening up a bank account, and so this is an example of thinking over somebody who starts with nothing, and doesn't know what a bank is now all of the sudden they have a bank account, and it will change the children and the cycle within that area. so these are extraordinarily powerful programs. >> i agree with that, and does that mean you will commit to continuing those programs if you're confirmed as secretary of state? >> yes, ma'am, i think it is an important part of all of our foreign aid efforts, whether it is the usaid or through other opportunities we have in more structured ways. >> thank you. under your leadership, and in 2012 exxonmobil's foundation also help to develop a road map for promoting women's economic empowerment that is specifically cited access to family planning and reproductive health services as a means to improve productivity and earning
potential for women. you and i also served as with discussed in 2010 on the international strategic international studies commission on global health policy which also advocated for expanded access to family planning services. will you pledge to continue to prioritize quality family plans and reproductive health services for women worldwide and ensure that resources and access to these programs are not conflated with support for abortion? >> senator, there are statutory requirements around the foreign aid well known to myself and yourself as well. as i understand it, we currently invest a little bit or something around half a billion a year in programs directed at a family planning through foreign assistance. i think that is an important level of support. >> so do i take that as a yes? >> well, i would want to, if confirmed, and i have the
opportunity to examine all of the aspects of that program, but i am aware that we spend half a billion now. >> well, as you know, if the approximately 225 million women worldwide with unmet family planning needs had access to modern methods of contraception, we would see 52 million fewer unintended pregnancies resulting in 600,000 fewer still births, 600 million fewer miscarriages and 15 million fewer unsafe abortions. so i would attest that this is not only a hue man tarin value that we should support, but also an economic one. and i'm almost out of time, but i just want to go back to russia for a brief moment, because as you talk about the potential to work with them, one of those areas that we have been successful on is new start, the new start treaty.
which ensures that russians have to reduce their nuclear warheads and delivery vehicles. and it has given us more access to on site inspections. do you believe that continuing to support those efforts is important for us? >> yes, senator. this is an area that we have to stay engaged with russia and hold them accountable for the commitments made under the new start and also ensure that we're in a position to meet our accountability as well. >> thank you. >> thank you. senator flake. >> thank you. thank you, for your testimony and your willingness to serve. it is a difficult thing to put your family through and everything else. i want you to know how much we appreciate that. in your opening testimony you talked about this war on isis that it will take a while. that is the implication of what you wrote, and i certainly
believe it is true. in congress here, we rarely declare war these days, but we do authorize the use of military force or the passed of amuf and we have not passed one yet in regard to isis and still working under the ill-fitting 2001 amuf with regard to al qaeda in afghanistan. senator cain and i have offered a bipartisan amuf to deal with al qaeda, excuse me, isis. we think that it is certainly going to help to have congressional buy-in that our allies deserve to know where we are and our adversaries need to know. what are your thoughts with the regards to the amuf specifically regarding isis. >> well, i think that the president-elect in broad terms indicated during his campaign and the comments made in other
instances that he believes it is important to not just lightly go into the conflicts, that he would seek the engagement of congress and the support of congress in some means, whether it is the sense of the congress or specific legislation. i would not disagree with the characterization that it is much more powerful when the u.s. shows up with everyone aligned, and i think that having the support of the congress standing behind those decisions to commit u.s. men and women, u.s. military resources, does give us a much stronger position to ep engage with allies in building those alliances that are important, and in the case of defeating isis, that is one of the first actions that is going to be necessary to re-engage with our allies in the area, and ensure we know what they are willing to commit as well. and, so yes, i would strongly
support in engaging certainly at the minimum with this committee, and ultimately if legislative action would support our efforts with isis and talking to the president about that. >> that would be welcome here. i don't want to speak for my colleagues, but i would not like to see is what we saw after the promise, the drawing of the red line, which you mentioned in your testimony, when you draw a red line, you said, we sent weak or mixed signals with red lines that turned into green lights. i think that's certainly the case, but what happened with the last administration is that red line was drawn, but rather than enforce that red line, when it was crossed, the administration came to congress to ask permission. and we always enjoy the administration coming to us. but when you draw a red line, enforce it.
war powers act allows 60 days, and that is what i think that we, and that kind of collaboration with congress is using us as a crutch, rather than an ally in this battle. >> i take the point. >> in regards to cuba, you mentioned that the leaders under the new arrangement that we have with diplomatic relations, and loosened travel restrictions that you were referring to, and the leaders have referred much, and the people have received little. this serves neither the interest of the cubans or americans. i would encourage you in the recent weeks and months, i encourage you to look at what has happened and the government is no less repressive in regards to dissidents, that is still going on. but when president obama allowed american -- cuban-americans in particular to travel unfettered to cuba and lifted caps on remittan remittances, it allowed cubans who had previously worked for
the government in cuba to engage in private sector activity. and from virtually no private sector employment in cuba, we have gone to 25% of the cuban workforce in the private sector, and i would submit that they enjoy now a measure of economic freedom and political freedom that they didn't before. so i think that it has benefited the cuban people, and will continue to if we continue the approach that we have now taken. and so i -- i do share your aversion to sanction, and particularly those that are not multilateral. and i think we have seen that in spades in cuba over the years, where it was the -- only the us us who employed sanctions and then sanctions that weren't comprehensive and didn't mean that much, other than giving the regime their convenient excuse for the failure of socialism.
and i encourage you to look at what happened in cuba with regards to new policy. with regard to africa, we had a good discussion in my office where at exxonmobil, you had dealt with africa a lot, and talking about the soft diplomacy for a while, and you have a lot of programs through usaid all over the continent. as you have viewed the programs in addition to what exxonmobil has done in the corporate governance area, what works and what doesn't, and how can we refashion some of the policies to nudge countries towards democracy that need nudging or that punish countries where it is deemed fit or encourage the cooperation with us on security measures or humanitarian measures. >> well, certainly, the use of the important usaid assistance is really falling in two broad areas, a disaster relief addressing imminent situations
on the ground where there's starvation or the result of storms or result of conflict, providing assistance to relieve the immediate suffering is an important part of the usaid. over the past few years in looking at the balance of that against what i would call development assistance which is designed to create sustainable change, and that is disastrous and grown, and less available for development. other important ways in which we can provide the assistance is through other mechanisms such as the millennial challenge corporation for those countries that qualify, and that is a different model, and so i think that in terms of what is the issue that we are trying to address, that is then conditions of how do we put obligations on the country then to modify behaviors whether it is to take steps to reduce corruption, and
improve the strengths to their own capacity to manage their affairs. where i have seen a good progress is when assistance was put into the country with some requirements that for instance they modify or streamline the permitting process. one of the ways to reduce corruption is to remove the complexities of how people are able to carry out their activities. the more steps in the process, the more opportunities for people to be taking something out of it or adding a cost to it. so i know that there are examples where governments have been required to simplify the simple thing of a citizen going down to get a driver's license or the citizen to be permitted to buy an automobile or piece of equipment, and only to one place. you can shine a bright light on it, and it is easy to follow the money as they say, and kit can be effective in beginning to
change the behaviors within some of these developing countries. where we can tie our assistance to obligations, it is important that we do so, and then able to follow-up and again, we have, i think it is every country's issues need to be examined on the case-by-case basis, and then target assistance to america's values, and help that country continue its journey with the better governance, but if it is disaster relief, it is hard to do, because it is hard to start feeding starving people, and when the post government is not meeting the obligations, we are not going the stop feeding starving people. those are difficult choices to make and i understand and appreciate that. >> we talked about some of the programs like pepfar. can you talk about
how that has helped our situation and what you have observed in africa? >> well, it is one of the most extraordinarily successful programs in africa. i saw it up close and personal, because of exxonmobil had taken on the challenge of eradicating malaria because of the business activities in central africa where malaria is quite prevalent. and working with the ngos and some receiving funding through pepfar and other agencies and other public for private partnerships, and so eradicating malaria, and great deal of progress made, and that is where i saw it up close and personal, and i know that pepfar has broadly brought so much goodwill from africa, recognition of the goodwill and the compassionate nature of the american people is one of the best projections of the american goodwill and compassion into the continent that i think that you will ever find, and it is broadly recognized by the leaders and
more importantly, recognized by those who it touches. >> senator udall. >> thank you so much, mr. chairman, and you and the ranking member to work so carefully with us to get this organized in such a good, good fashion. mr. tillerson, let me first of all, thank you so much for your visit to my office and being able to exchange ideas and discuss where you want -- how you want to approach things as the incoming secretary of state, if you are approved. i want to thank so much your family for being here. it is always wonderful to see family, and brenda and brothers and sisters, and so, it is a good, a very good start i believe. you know, i believe that exxon has done and continues to do business in the various countries in the world that are
are problematic to the u.s., and you have mentioned it a little bit here, and in some of the cases, some of the countries are outright hostile. we know that exxon did business in iran, and iran's regime has supported terrorist attacks against americans. exxon has a massive oil interest in russia which is recently acted to undermine our elections in civil society, and of course, exxon also has a history of major political contributions, and large washington lobbyist presence. would you permit exxon to lobby the state department under your leadership? >> well, senator, as to any issues involving exxonmobil that might come before me if confirmed as secretary of state, i would recuse myself from those issues. >> and would you take phone calls from the new ceo about foreign matters or any interests that they had around the world that are within jurisdiction of the state department?
>> i would not extend to the new chairman and ceo of exxonmobil any courtesies beyond that which i would extend to anyone. >> so, are you saying that you would take calls and visit with the ceo? i mean, i am trying to understand -- >> well, it would be -- >> what kind of limits you are going to put on yourself in terms of the dealing with the company and employees. i know that you are, and it made a clean break, and in terms of the ethics agreements and things like that, and give us an understanding of the policy that you are going to follow if you are approved as to how you are going to deal with the situations. there are many countries, as you know, in the world, where to give you an example, australia, equatorial guinea, malaysia, qatar, russia and the united kingdom, exxon now is asking for
tax dollars back from those. if you are carrying out foreign policy in those countries, how are you going to be dealing with that situation in terms of the contact with exxon, with your former colleagues that kind of situation. >> well, let me start with where you began in terms of taking phone calls. i would not expect that i will be taking phone calls from any business leaders in my prior role, i never called on the secretary of state directly. i called on the deputy often or the missions, primarily the ambassadors. so i, you know, whether i will take phone calls from anyone is a subject to the question itself. as to how i would deal with the past history that i have in my prior position with exxonmobil, i have made it clear in the disclosures and in answers to questions that have been posed, obviously, there is a statutory
recusal period which i will adhere to on any matters that might come before the state department that deal directly and specifically with exxonmobil. beyond that though, we are so much involving the natural gas and industry, and the scope of that is such that i would not expect to have to recuse myself. in any instance where there is any question or the appearance, i would expect to seek the guidance of council from the office of ethics from the state department, and also to follow their guidance as to whether it is an issue that i should recuse myself from. >> thank you very much for that answer. i was very heartened by some of the exchange that we had in my office with regard to climate change. as you know, climate change has been expressed as a serious national security concern.
sea levels rising and threatened navy bases and we have water shortages all over the world, and in my state of new mexico, and other natural disasters that are going to be threatening the stability of many developing countries, and during the transition, some departments have been asked to name individuals involved in climate policy who attended the international climate meetings which made many federal employees concerned about a witch hunt against the civil servants involved in climate policy. would you plan or support any efforts to persecute, sideline or otherwise retaliate against career state department employees who have worked on climate change in the past? >> no, sir, that is a pretty unhelpful way to get started. >> well, i like that answer. while you were ceo of exxon, the company website stated and i quote here, the risk of climate
change is clear, and the risk warrants action. increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. there is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risk which is the end of the quote on the website. i understand that if confirmed, you will be serving under president-elect trump, but do you personally stand by this statement today, yes or no? >> i do not take exception to that statement. i might articulate it a little bit differently as to my personal views. the president-elect has invited my views on climate change, and he has asked for them, and he knows that i am on the public record with my views. and i look forward to providing those if confirmed to him, and in discussion around how the u.s. should conduct its policies in this area. ultimately, the president-elect, and he was elected and i'll
carry out his policies in order to be as successful as possible. but i think it is important to note that he has asked, and i feel free to express those views. >> thank you. during our meeting you expressed support for a carbon tax as one preferred measure to address issues of climate change. will you continue to work with the congress on this complex issue, and make it a priority in the state department if you are confirmed? >> when it comes to tax policy, that is the responsibility of other agencies to conduct. my role at state is to only deal with the issues that are relevant to treaties or international accords that we have entered into in terms of our continued compliance with those participation in those. that would be the area i would be most engaged in. >> and my understanding in the
discussion in the office and i think you said that you were going to talk about this publicly, if you were asked questions, and you came to the carbon tax conclusion doing a thorough analysis of everything out there, and whatever was trying to bring down carbon emissions, you looked at everything, and then you could be collude concluded the best recommendation was to move forward with the carbon tax. is that correct? >> the analysis that i went through which is largely informed by the number of studies, economic studies by the academic institutions and others is that during the time that the congress is debating the cap and trade approach which in my view had not produced the result that everyone wanted in europe. we had a working model in europe that we had been watching, and had been exxonmobil had been participating in that model. the debate around a cap and
trade is being the option versus something else is what stimulated the question for me of, well, if this is not working, what might? and so that began the investigation of other alternatives, and one of the elements of considering something like that as a solution are two aspects. one, it replaces the hodge pock of approaches that we have today. which are scattered and some of which are through mandate and some of which are through well intended, but ineffective incentives, and so let's simplify the system, and this is the one and only effort to undertake to try to begin to influence people's choice, and the second qualifier, i have always placed on it is that the revenues from the, if a carbon tax were put in place, it has to be revenue neutral, and all of the revenues back out into the economy through the reduced employee payroll taxes, because there is going to be impacts on the jobs, and so let's mitigate
it by reducing the impact by putting it back into the economy, so none of the money is held as in the federal treasury for other purposes. this is simply a mechanism to incentivize choices that people are make, and not a revenue raiser. >> thank you very much, mr. tillerson. >> if i could, senator udall did an outstanding job of teasing this out. the one thing that wasn't stated, though, would you succinctly state your position, your personal position as it relates to climate change? >> i came to my personal position over about 20 years as an engineer and scientist, and understanding the evolution of the science. and came to the conclusion a few years ago that the risk of climate change does exist and that the consequences of it could be serious enough that action should be taken. the type of action is it seems to be the largest areas of debate exist in the public discourse, and i
think that it is important to recognize that the u.s. has done a pretty good job. >> this is not as succinct as i was hoping. would you -- it is my understanding that you believe -- >> i think we should let him finish, mr. chairman. >> -- human activity, you believe, that human activity based on your belief in science is contributing to climate change? >> the increase in the greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere are having an effect. our ability to predict that effect is very limited. >> senator gardner. >> thank you, mr. chairman, and thank you mr. tillerson, for your service or hopeful service to the country and to your family, thank you as well for your commitment, because if confirmed, it is a sacrifice for you as well, and so thank you for your willingness to serve our nation, should that be the will of the senate.
in your opening statement, you talk about what i believe is the idea of america, liberty and prosperity and security that we live in a nation that is founded on liberty, maintaining liberty through security, and growing the prosperity of the american people. periods of history, whether the industrial revolution, civil war, world war i or depression or the time period afterward, and not a year or two or three in time, but a generational if not more definition and changing lives impacting our children, and the moment that we are in today, and the changes that we have seen around the globe, and the changes in technology, and instability will greatly impact the lives of our children, and my children and your children, so i believe that engagement with the world matters and that u.s. engagement matters greatly. and you would agree with that assessment, correct? >> yes, sir, i would. >> and this is not the time for the world to shrink from the
engagement, is that correct? >> yes, senator. in our opening remarks that is what is absent. >> and western values matter, that we build upon the international norms that have made this country great, those ideas of liberty, security, prosperity. >> and we are the only country able to project that with authority. >> one thing that we find so interesting about the committee and the work we do is the opportunity to lead around the world with diplomacy, and the will of the good people of this country, and not just defense. would you agree with that? >> yes, sir. >> and that we will use force when necessary and not back a way from the obligation to use force where necessary, correct? >> yes. i know that everyone understands that it is the least attractive option. >> and that we should leave no doubt in the minds of the alliances, and the willingness and the commitment of the united states to both use diplomacy and force where necessary to achieve the goals of the alliance. >> and diplomacy is ineffective
if it is not backed up by the threat of force. >> and mr. tillerson, north korea has developed a series of nuclear capabilities ta that a significant threat to the united states and trying to develop the capabilities, the united states, our allies and the region. last congress, senator menendez and i helped lead -- did lead the north korea sanctions and policy enhancement act, which passed the senate, signed into law, by the president, unanimous vote, and it abandoned this administration's failed policy of strategic patience. the first sanction mandated sanctions of those who are resisted the pyongyang human rights violation, and the cyber efforts. do you intend to fill all mandatory sanction requirements of this sanctions act? >> yes, i would, senator.
and that is the issue in north korea is that we have failed to enforce existing sanctions on regime, and including that which is overseen by the united nations. >> i want to get into that more, and your plan as it relates to the north korea, and our actions toward north korea depend on south korea, japan, our relationship with those two nations. how do we bolster the relationship with the united states, south korea and japan? >> it starts with our friends and allies, and ensuring that we are completely aligned open our commitment to enforce the sanctions. >> and the alliance that we have with south korea is going to be strengthened under president-elect trump's administration. is that correct? >> that would be my expectation, yes, sir. >> one of the keys to success of north korea's peaceful denuclearization is china. are you willing to exert more pressure on north korea through china including u.n. security,
and u.n. security resolutions, and pushing china to do more to enforce these resolutions as it relates to north korea. >> as indicated a lot of the troubles today are that we do not enforce, and we make commitments and say that we will do something, and then we don't enforce it. and that is again a mixed message that has been sent in a case of north korea, and the expectations of china. and i think that we have to be clear-eyed as to how far china will go, and not get overly optimistic as to how far they will go. and that is why ultimately, it is going to require a new approach with china in order for china to understand our expectations of them going beyond certainly what they have in the past. >> china has not enforced the sanctions, allowing them to continue proliferation activities through the dollars
earned with the transactions, through activities that otherwise results in sanctions. would you support secondary sanctions against chinese entities if found and confirmed to have rviolated u.n. resolutions they have entered into. >> well, 90% of the north korean economy depends on china. and so the purchase of coal which is specifically mentioned, and if there are gaps of enforcement, they have to be enforced and if china is not going to comply with the u.n. sanctions, then it is appropriate for the united states to consider actions to compel them to comply. >> and how do you intend to lead u.s. and multi national multi lateral efforts to peacefully disarm pyongyang? >> it is going to be a long-term plan. and it starts with, again, designing the sanctions and
enforcing the sanctions to close gaps that exist and you already highlighted that there are gaps in those sanctions today that are undermining their effectiveness. so it is a question of closing the gaps, and where it is a appropriate to seek further steps against those who are not fully complying with the sanctions, and revisiting other ways to, and other areas to close off access by north korea to resources that allow them to continue to develop the nuclear capabilities. it is and all of the looking at all of that approach as to what is still there, and what can we put it, and how can we put additional pressure on them to deny them the capability to continue to advance and not just the development, but the delivery systems which is where the greatest threat is today. >> and so, congressman, this is the first time that the committee added cyber security to the jurisdiction and i chaired the subcommittee on the
east asia and cyber policies, and during that hearing we mandated that the state department produce a long overdue policy on the outgoing administration's international cyber policies. and that bill builds mandatory cyber sanctions and the first time that any legislation has done so. i supported as others have on this committee the idea of creating in congress a stand alone permanent committee on cybersecurity so that we have a whole government view of how to address our cyberpolicy concerns, needs from the standpoint of the commercial sector to the standpoint of national security needs. i believe that's something we should do. how will you prioritize cybersecurity at the state department? >> if confirmed, as i indicated the imminent threat is and i
highlighted in my remarks, but the greatest and most complex is in cyber security. the u.s. has significant capabilities of its own, but we are also extraordinarily vulnerable, because partly we have not maintained our own i.t. infrastructure and not built defensive mechanisms to protect, and not just government sites and government information, but important infrastructure in some cases important private sector from attack as well. it is important that we put in place once and for all a comprehensive strategy for dealing with cybersecurity and cyberthreats that includes what are appropriate norms for behavior and appropriate use for cyberinformation and what is and what would be an acceptable response when nations violate those norms. and i think that the u.s. has to lead in this area, and so no one is doing it. and this is going to require a
lot of engagement from the commerce, to the defense department, to the intelligence community of how do we construct a thoughtful approach to cybersecurity and thoughtful approach to what are going to be the norms. and then you engage with the friends and allies first and we establish what those norms are going to be and then build out the international e supporter for them, so that when these attacks happen, we are not struggling what is an appropriate response, and how far should we go? this is going to be the accepted norms. it is a complicated issue, and it has a lot of aspects to it that have to be carefully considered, but we cannot delay, beginning to develop this approach. >> and do you believe that the cyber security department could have an ambassador to that? >> i think that could be part of the outcome of a comprehensive assessment of what is the right way for the u.s. to manage the
threat and be prepared to respond when others take action. >> thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you, sir. you've shown extreme stamina for a 64-year-old male in multiple ways. and with that, we're going to have a five-minute recess. if you wish to exit the room, i would suggest you coming this way and we'll resume with senator kaine in five minutes. >> and we will bring the hearing back to order. mr. tillerson, based on my previous conversation before moving to senator kaine, i know that we have had a little bit of a conversation about this, but 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 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, and exxonmobil participated in understanding how the sanctions were going to be constructed and was asked, and provided information regarding how those might impact american business interests. and the only engagement i had really came after the sanctions were in place. exxonmobil was in the middle of drilling a well, in the very remote part of the russian arctic in the karros sea, several hundred miles away from any safe harbor when the sanctions went into place because of the way the sanctions were written, they took immediate effect.
there was no grace period, no grandfathering period. and i engaged immediately with the state department and with treasury and ofac to explain to them that there was significant risk to people and the environment if, and we were going to comply with the sanctions, and fully comply, but that compliance meant immediate evacuation of all of the people which was going the put lives at risk and the environment at risk, because it was a wild cat exploration well at a delicate position at the time, and provided a lot of technical information to ofac and the state department. thankful that it took about five days for them to understand that, and exxonmobil stood still while they were evaluating that, and in the end, did grant a temporary license to allow that work to be completed safely, so that we could get all of the people then out of the country, and get all of the equipment that was subject to sanctions out of the country, including the rig, out of the country.
that was my direct engagement, was really in dealing with an effect of the sanctions, so, again, the characterization that exxonmobil lobbied against the sanctions is just not accurate. >> senator kaine? >> thank you, mr. chair. mr. tillerson, thank you for your willingness to serve. congratulations on your nomination. how much information do you have about financial connections between president-elect trump, the trump family or trump organizations, and russian individuals or organizations or the russian government? >> i have no knowledge. >> and if i asked you the same question and i substituted turkey, china, pakistan or japan, for russia, in that question, would your answer be the same? >> i have no knowledge. >> so i gather from your answer that you'll then have no way of knowing how actions proposed by a president trump regarding those countries or others would affect his personal or family financial interests? >> i have no knowledge. >> how is a congress of the american public supposed to fully judge the actions, official actions proposed by a
president trump if we elect basic information about how those actions may benefit his personal finances? >> that's a question that others will have to address, senator. >> you're aware that government leaders of many of the countries that you dealt with in your capacity as ceo of exxonmobil have used their positions of leadership to greatly advance their personal wealth while they were in office, correct? >> i have no direct knowledge of that. >> but you've read press accounts, for example, about folks like vladimir putin or the leaders of equatorial guinea and other nations suggesting that they have amassed great personal wealth while in office, correct? >> i'm aware of the press reports. >> do you think that such behavior by a head of government is in accord with 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 -- rightfully to the government and that is not
provided for under 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 public positions to amass personal wealth while in office? >> that is the standard in the united states, yes, sir. >> without full disclosure of the president of all of its financial interest, isn't there a chance you might be across the table in a negotiating setting say with russian officials who know more about the president's financial interests and exposure than you do? >> not to my knowledge. >> if that was the case, wouldn't that put america and our national interests at somewhat of a disadvantage? >> if it is -- if it is not to my knowledge, it isn't going to change the way i'm negotiating with them. >> but if someone on the other side of a negotiating table you've been in negotiations 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's all that matters. if you achieve the objective, the art of negotiating is just how you achieve that objective. >> i want to switch and ask you some questions about climate following up on senator udall. we talked about this in my office there has been a great deal of coverage about exxonmobil's history with the issue of climate change. there was a recent two-part article in the new york review of books prepared by members of the rockefeller family foundation and investigated by an independent team for the columbia school of journalism, and in 2015 there was a three-part series in "the los angeles times" and inside climate news did an eight-month investigation and produced a nine-part series that was a finalist for a pulitzer prize all on the question of exxonmobil's knowledge of basic climate science. these articles conclude the following, and i'll ask you some questions. one, exxonmobil concluded as early as the 1970s that
pollution from co2 released by the burning of fossil fuels was affecting the climb in potentially destructive ways. two, despite this knowledge, exxonmobil took public positions against the scientific consensus regarding climate science. three, exxonmobil funded outside organizations that publicly denied, downplayed and on secured the scientific consensus. and, four, exxonmobil despite claims to the contrary continues to provide funding if at a lower level to outside groups that deny, downplay, or obscure the scientific consensus. are these conclusions about exxonmobil's history of promoting and funding climate science denial, despite its internal awareness of the reality of climate change during your tenure with the country true or false? >> nsenator, since i'm no long e are exxonmobil, i'm no longer able to speak on their behalf. the question would have to be put to them. >> i'm not asking you to speak on their behalf.
you were with the company for nearly 42 years? >> correct. >> for the majority of the time you were with the company in a executive and management position? >> approximately half the time. >> and you became ceo in 2006? >> correct. >> so i'm not asking you on behalf of exxonmobil. you resigned from exxonmobil. i'm asking you whether those allegations about exxonmobil's knowledge of climate science and decision to fund and promote a view contrary to its awareness of the science, whether those allegations are true or false? >> the question would be have to be put to exxonmobil. >> let me ask you, do you lack the knowledge to ans mewer my question or refusing to answer my question? >> a little of both. >> i have a hard time believing you lack the knowledge to ans are my question. with respect refusing to answer my question, we talk ed in my office, you have severed your 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 the ties will be severed if i am confirmed. >> right, absolutely. >> i spoke too quickly. >> 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 i would be question whether there's any existing confidentiality agreement and when the agreement was entered into. mr. chairman, i'm going to enter a couple documents in the record. first, a letter dated september 2, 1982, from the direct -- the theoretical and mathematical sciences laboratory director of kpon research company roger cohen and quote from it. september 2, 1982, over the past
several years a clear scientific consensus has emerged regarding the expected climatic effect of increased atmospheric co 2. the con sen us is from its pretril revolution value would result in an average global temperature rise of between 1.5 and .0 degrees sen grade. there is unanimous agreement that a temperature increase of this magnitude would bring about significant changes in the earth's climate, including rainfall distributions and alteration in the bio sphere. it depends on future world consumption of foe sul fuels. in summary, the results of our research are in accord with the effect of increased atmospheric co 2 and climate. we're now ready to present our research to the scientific community through the usual mechanisms of conference presentations and publications. as we discussed in the august 24 meeting there is the potential for our research to attract the
attention of the popular news media because of the connection between exxon's major business and the role of contributing to atmospheric co 2. our ethical responsibility is to permit the publication of our research. would be a breech of exxon's -- i would like to introduce that record -- that letter for the record. >> without objection. >> i would also like to introduce an op-ed series produced by exxonmobil in 2000 and i will read the following -- geological evidence indicates that climate and greenhouse gas levels experience significant vasht for reasons having to do nothing with human activity. against this back grop large poorly understood natural variability it is impossible for scientists to attribute the recent sfaul surface increase to human causes.
i would like to introduce that. >> without objection. >> mr. tillerson, one last subject. i know you're familiar with the use of the phrase resource course oil rich countries find their abundance of natural resources impedes development of a diverse economy and promotes authoritariani authoritarianism, poverty and corruption, that's not an iron law but that has been a much discussed topic in economic literature since the early 1990s. exxonmobil does business in many countries, chad, guinea, nigeria, angola that suffered through this phenomenon. i would like you to talk about, as secretary of state, where we have a development portfolio that tries to help nations raise sustainable economies, how will you work with nations that have suffered under this resource curse and what -- how will you work with them to make sure they respect human rights, the rule of law, and our long standing
commitment to transparency and anti-corruption. >> good question, succinct answer please. >> well, there's a lot of opportunity through our u.s. aid programs to strengthen constitutional capacities and set standards of expectation in the developing part of the world, including those that have resource wealth. >> mr. chair, if i could put one more document in the record and it's a document from this committee, it's a report that was directed by senator luker when he was the ranking of the committee in 2008 entitled the petroleum and paradox to fight the resource curse. and it has a number of suggestions about -- for both the president and secretary of state that i think still have some merit and i would commend it to the attention of the witness. >> without objection. thank you. >> thank you, mr. chairman. new guy. thank you, mr. chairman. and thanks so much, mr. tillerson, for your presence here today.
i would like to return to an issue, which is received quite a bit of discussion and dialogue here today. it's the sanctions that have been imposed on russia in the wake of that you are an exasian of crimea and you've indicated to me privately and again here publicly that you had a couple of concerns aside from the fiduciary concerns, that is your duty to ensure you maximize shareholder value as ceo of exxonmobil, you had concerns with respect to the ill formation of these sanctions, the fact that there's a disparity between the u.s. and eu's sanctions regime and therefore you didn't believe that sanctions regime would work, is that correct? >> well, i think i expressed the view that it was likely to be ineffective. >> okay. 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 congressional research service and they
indicated -- and i'll submit this report for the record here, but that in practice -- i'm quoting, it appears that u.s. and eu sector rale sanctions are broadly similar. they did say it appears but kindly explain the distinctions between those two sanctions regimes that made you conclude they would be ineffective. >> and i was speaking in terms of the sector that i was involved in at the time, all in natural gas development. the eu sanctions contained a grandfathering provision, which allowed activity that was already under way in the targeted sanctioned areas to continue. in the u.s. sanctions, there was no grandfathering. and in this dialogue that was going on during the development of the sanctions, that was part of the input to the process, both to the treasury secretary -- i spoke to secretary lou myself, to point
out that there was this gap and that it was going -- it could lead to problems for u.s. interest from two perspectives. one was the operational effect that i just described a moment ago in response to the chairman's question that an immediate effect would put operations that were on going at risk. so there was that issue. but the second was that to the extent european activities in the same sanctioned areas could continue because they were grandfathered would put u.s. interest in this particular part of the sector at a disadvantage because u.s. could not continue to demonstrate its capabilities. our european partners could and it put at risk the possibility that agreements that had been entered into might be terminated. >> so it's the grandfathering component. we'll look more into that, mr. chairman. submit this for the record, please. >> without objection. >> let me pose a hypothetical, perhaps a bit -- it gets to the heart of the matter of trying to
separate one's responsibilities, one's incentives as the ceo of a major multinational corporation, though u.s. based, from perhaps your coming role as the chief dip mat of the united states. assume that something that's not particularly lacking in plausibility, that russia were to send troops and weapons into the kiev area, into crew yan. 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 this sanctions regime? >> senator, i think as i've indicated now several times, use
of sanctions is important and can be powerful tool as long as they are constructed to be effective. in an instance, like the example you give, there will be, i'm sure, discussion at the national security council of all the options, but the sanctions will be certainly an important option to have on the table for consideration. and if that is 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 that for now you believe the status quo should reign, in part because -- i understandably i'm sympathetic to this -- you indicated you lack sufficient information. you haven't been read in with respect to classified material, correct? >> that is correct. >> your nomination was announced on december 13th. you've never served in government before. it's understandable you wouldn't have a security clearance until
now, until last evening. you 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, focussed intently on russia. >> if all of the papers in place and i have been cleared, i understand it's on file, i just haven't received any notice yet, but i look forward to having access to the additional information. >> so you would be willing? >> yes. >> further, as the nation's chief diplomat, it's really important, as we've seen with this previous administration, that the chief diplomat of the united states 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 that are embraced by our now president-elect. he has a history of utilizing to
a very well known effect social media, twitter in particular. and some of the president-elect tweets appear to be quickly drafted, not vetted by staff or coordinated with the transition teams' senior officials. so this gives pause to me. this gives some concern that in coming months n coming years you might not be empowered to actually serve as the chief diplomat. you would lack credibility. so, 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 some ideas on this. well, if confirmed and i am able to serve this president elect, i don't think i'm going to tell 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 implements foreign policy, including traveling abroad and i understand your point, i'm overseas and that it would be my expectation that anything -- any way the president might choose to communicate through whatever method would be supportive of that policy we both agreed on. >> so, do you have in mind any contingency plans to -- >> yes, i have his cell phone number. >> okay. >> he's promised me he'll answer. >> and he does. >> we'll hope for the best there unless you have anything else to add. in your prepared statement you write that russia must know that we are accountable to our commitments and those of our allies. article 5 of the north atlantic treaty states that an armed attack against one or more member states in europe or north
america shall been considered an attack against them all. mr. tillerson, if putin were to instigate a crimea-style envision of a nato member, let's say lithuania or latvia, do you believe the u.s. should and would honor its treaty obligation, join our allies in defending our fellow nato member against external invasion? >> article 5 commitment is invaluable and the u.s. is going to stand behind that commitment. >> so yes? >> if that is the consensus from nato members that that's the appropriate use of article 5, then yes. >> okay. i yield back. >> thank you so much. senator murphy? >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. thank you, mr. tillerson, for your willingness to serve. and as a cub scout leader who is wearing the uniform last night as i led my wolf den, i thank you for your service to the boy
scout s and your leadership there as well. a comment and then a few questions. in your testimony you said that you had not lobbied congress on the issue of sanctions and i guess we fleshed out that in your mind calling 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 in 14 different lobbying reports between 2006 and 2014, exxon did list lobbying 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, i think,
you know, very smartly talking about the importance of consistency and clarity in american policy and your belief that you need to rebuild that. in this light, your response to senator rubio on whether you would support mandatory sanctions against specific individuals involved in confirmed, verifiable cyberattacks against the united states is fairly extraordinary. the u.s. is under attack today. we are under attack by russia, by north korea, by china through these cyberattacks. and so, i guess i'm going to ask you to square how you can have a clear, consistent policy on preventing cyberattacks against the united states when you've said before this committee that you don't support mandatory sanctions against verified
individuals who have committed attacks against the united states because there might be complicated, multi-facetted relationships with certain countries in which you might want to weigh the attack against the united states with another consideration. how do you deter cyberattacks 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 with the united states? 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 options are. and i'm not fully informed as of yet and it will involve, you know, if confirmed, it will involve interagency discussions including that within the national security council, what are all the options to respond? and 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 have 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's certainly what i would support. but i do not know because i've not been briefed as to what are our proportional capabilities in responding? are there other options available to us that could prove to be even more effective and get a more immediate change in the behavior of whoever is attacking us. so, it's -- i hope i didn't convey or didn't intend to convey that kind of a narrow of a response. what i was trying to convey is this is an extraordinarily complicated threat that exists 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 of the options and
all of the tools available to us. and sanctions is one of them. it's a powerful tool. i think as i said if in an interagency, a national security type environment that conversation is existing and the conclusion is made that these sanctions are going to be the best and most appropriate way to act, then i think the executive would like have the optionalty to make that decision. not to the exclusion that there could be better options available and yet we have to do this as well. >> mr. tillerson, as you know, "the new york times," washington post, cnn amongst others are reporting that russia has a dose ya 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 both read in both the president and the president-elect.
i think we all pray that it isn't true and i certainly understand that 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 and 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 allegations that there were specific agents of the trump campaign that communicated between it and russia. have you or exxon had any business dealings, any business relationships with either paul manafort or with carter page? >> not that i'm aware of. >> could you take that question for the record and get a response to -- >> be happy to do that. >> for the committee. and finally, do you believe that u.s. law enforcement most notably the fbi should seek to
determine the accuracy of these allegations? >> i think that i would leave that to those agencies to determine. >> if they chose to conduct an investigation, would the state department under your leadership cooperate with that investigation? >> to the extent there's a role for the state department in such an investigation. >> thank you mr. tillerson. you've talked a lot in your testimony about the importance of setting red lines and 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 that statements by american presidents, even those that are made off the cuff, are taken by world leaders as statements of u.s. policy. is that correct? >> in that case i think the statement was pretty
unequivocal. >> and so let me give you another unequivocal statement and ask for your thoughts on it. on twitter, president-elect trump said that a north korean icbm launch was, quote, not going to happen. that sounds about as clear as a red line as i can figure one out. you interpret that to be a red line? >> i don't know that i would interpret that to be a red line. i could interpret that to mean a lot of things. >> explain -- elaborate on that. >> it's not going to happen because the president views the north koreans aren't going to do one. it could be interpreted that way. >> you don't think that should be interpreted by the global community as the united states promising to do whatever is necessary not to allow the north koreans to obtain an icbm? >> i think that's a pretty far extension of that statement to come to some -- to that conclusion. >> i think many have interpreted it that way, and i think to
senator young's question, therein lies the challenge when you conduct foreign policy by 140 characters, it does become a little opaque as to what you mean. i don't think there's as much confusion there, but that will certainly be a challenge that you will have. finally, i want to drill down a little bit more on this series of questions from senator menendez. he was getting at a question about conduct at exxonmobil that directly contradicted american foreign policy in iraq when you made a decision to do a deal with the kurdish government, even when the united states government had requested that you refrain from doing such a deal. in addition, there's testimony now that through subsidiaries or joint partnerships exxon did work in places like iran, syria and sudan. this question is going to sound
confrontational but i mean it sincerely. was there any country in the world whose record of civil rights was so horrible or whose conduct so directly threatening global security or u.s. national security interests that exxon wouldn't do business with it? was there any line while you were at exxon where you would not do business with a country given that iran, syria, sudan and russia were on the list of those that you would? >> the standard that is applied first is it legal? does it violate any of the laws of the united states to conduct business in a particular country? then beyond that it goes to the question of the country itself. do they honor contracts sanctity? do they have a rule of law? and if they do or don't, are there mitigating actions that can put in place to protect whatever business activity might be undertaken. >> but on that list is not a question of their record of human rights abuses or u.s.
national security interests? >> that could go to contract sanctity, rule of law and stability of the country, which is always a judgment as well. >> thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you. thank you for your outstanding opening remarks. i think you cast the hearing exactly in the place it should be. mr. tillerson, thank you for accepting this challenge and thank you very accepting the schaj of sitting before us for a couple of hours and answering a lot of tough questions in a great way. thank you also for bringing the united states senator sam lund to introduce you. that goes a long way with me and a lot of people here. sam served for 24 years in the united states senate. he chaired the foreign -- the armed services committee and he and dick did the initiative which has reduced the exposure of the world to nuclear material to be used by terrorists around the world and was a chief adviser to me and a number of other members on the committee and did a great job of helping us to understand what russian
capabilities were and how important it was for us to maintain a strong. i appreciate you having sam here. he is a great testimony to you as an individual. you mentioned a number of things and i'm going to take them in order real quickly and try to ask specific questions. with regard to american leadership being renewed and reasserted because you lead in the world we have to renew our leadership, we have to reassert our leadership. you've said that. probably one of the most interesting places in the world we're out of the picture is the middle east in regard to aleppo or syria, turkey and iran around russia are sitting at the table as they divide up what's left of syria and its assets and we're sitting outside. as the nominee for being the chief negotiating diplomat for the united states of america, what would you recommend we do to get a seat at that table? and what form of renewed leadership should we exercise to have that leadership respected? >> well, if confirmed, senator, i think the first step we have to take is to re-engage with our
traditional allies and friends in the area. and reaffirm that we are back. we are back with our leadership and we're back with a plan of how to affect -- where events in syria go from here. we can't do anything about where we are today. i think you described the 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. so i think it's a reengame with our traditional allies, sharing with them where we believe we have to now go in syria. we have to re-engage with president erdogan in turkey. this is a long standing turkey ally that in the absence of american leadership, he got pretty nervous about his situation and he turned to who was next available and he turned to an ally in russia that is not a sustainable ally. it is making clear to him that is not a sustainable alliance.
your sustainable alliance is with the united states of america. so, it's just -- first step is that reengagement and stability and security in this part of the world. that includes reestablishing a 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, then we will have a plan that will be developed in concert with the national security council as to how we accomplish two things, one, we've got to protect the innocent people on the ground in syria. people are fleeing areas. how do we secure their protections so they are no longer indiscriminately bombed, put under threat. and if that can happen, then perhaps there can be a stabilization of the outflow of people who are leaving because there is not a safe place to go. second step then as i indicated is defeat isis. we've had two competing
priorities in syria under this administration, bashar al assad must go and defeating isis. carrying both of those out simultaneously is extremely difficult because at times they conflict with one another. the clear priority is to defeat isis. we defeat isis, we at least create some level of stability in syria which then lets us deal with the next priority of what is going to be the exit of bashar al assad but importantly before we decide that is, in fact, what needs to happen, we have to answer the question, what comes next? what is going to be the government in syria and can we have any influence over that or not? so there are a number of steps in 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 -- the fate and future of the syrian people in syria as a
nation. it's going to take many steps, but it isn't going to start until we get re-engaged in that region. >> i'll make a statement you don't have to conquer with it or not, but i think it's implicit that we wouldn't be where we are today if we had not failed to do two thing. one, we failed to enforce the red line when we drew it number one with syria. that's an important thing to understand because we didn't renew and assert our leadership in that position. secondly, we never changed our isil policy from containment to destruction and because containment allowed them to continue to operate in that area made it impossible to get to the position we are today. would you have any comment on that? >> i would agree with both of those reflections. >> are you familiar with the term the dutch disease? >> i am. >> i think that's what tim senator kaine was referring to. my son wrote his master thesis at tulane it in early 1990s on the dutch disease. that's the only reason i know anything about it, but it points out the second thing about the state department is so important. the dutch disease is where the middle east suffers from.
they have an infinite source of wealth in terms of oil and pretroll yum. they decided not to invest that money in their people and infrastructure and instead bought their people off with the money. now we're suffering today because they have no medicine, infrastructure, educational system. millennium challenge corporation, those entities within the state department would be under your responsibility are where we take our soft power to develop countries and friends at the same time. the peace corp. being another example that i am a huge supporter of those institutions and have seen those dollars, those soft dollars invested in helping to build the infrastructure of human life within these countries that don't have it. tremendous asset for us in the future. do you share that belief? >> i do, senator. as i commented earlier, u.s. id has one set of -- the use of aid
is multifacetted in terms of both disaster relief and development. one of the most successful programs i've seen is the millennial challenge corporation because it has ownership on part of the country. they have to request the grant. they have to take ownership of the implementation and it is in many ways an advancement of their institutional capacity to actually get something done. that's where you would hope we can put all of these countries on a pathway where they can begin to take responsibility and develop the infrastructure and the 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 the foreign assistance to the extent we can make u.s. a.i.d. development programs more like mill len yam challenge, recognizing different criterias, but it goes to the responsibility of the recipient government in putting some level criteria where we are promoting the development of their institutional capacity to begin to address -- look back to their people and address their needs. they are powerful too manies because they really project the best of american compassion. >> i appreciate your answer because a lot of people have questioned whether or not we ought to have corporate executive from the private sector be secretary of state, soft power which all of us prefer to hard power if we can use it depends on the concept of joint venture and the investment of capital and. your knowledge of that is going to be invaluable with the state department as we go through africa and other developing countries to use millennium
challenge to bring about a reduction in corruption, increase in friends and hopefully better votes in the u.n. when we need them the most. >> it is -- i think we certainly should use that as a way to build those connections with developing countries around the world and countries that are hopefully going to be on the rise. and can be important models to others to demonstrate it is possible to lift yourself out of this condition. >> one last quick question and it's not a catch 22, but i'm a big supporter of trade. i think trade is important. it's a weapon that we have to use, a soft power weapon to have friends and help the united states of america. china is the whole issue of tpp has been an issue. i know the president was questionable on tpp but not on trade itself. do you think trade san important component in intergovernmental relationships between countries and has a role in the state department. >> having strong economic alliances where there's a certain -- i hate to use the word interdependency because some people find that
threatening term, but having those important connections allows us to have these economic ties where we want to maintain good relationships with one another. they also provide an enormous important for us to know one another as people. this is just people doing -- 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 the countries we're trading with. we bring american standards of conducts, honest dealings, ethical behavior, a structure around honoring our deals, a zeel a deal, we honor it. so economic trade is critical to the success of our foreign policy. >> well, thank you very much for yor willingness to serve and thanks to your wife and family for their willingness to support you in that service. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you, sir. >> thank you, mr. chairman, very much. mr. tillerson, during your tenure as ceo of exxonmobil, the
company massively expanded its involvement in russia. going from virtually no holdings 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. and almost five times the amount of holdings exxon has here in the united states. as ceo of exxon, you vocally oppose the russian sanctions that have been put in place which hamper kpon's ability to drill there. now, in recent weeks, we have learned 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 has kpro miezing personal and financial information about the president-elect. now, i'm sure that i am not
alone in saying that i believe that these allegations, if true, demand more and stronger sanctions against russia. now, just this morning donald trump said that he thinks that the russians did hack our american election. so, mr. tillerson, in light of what you now know russia's hostile acts against our country, do you support increasing sanctions against russia, even if doing so hurts exxonmobil? >> well, senator, if confirmed in consultation with the president and i'm sure what will be an interagency decision around imposing additional sanctions on russia, there will be no space between me and the president and the administration and those decisions.
i serve, if confirmed -- i serve only the interest of the american people. >> well, again, the question that the american people are going to have is that you have spent 41 years at exxonmobil and exxonmobil controls, for leasing purposes, drillings purposes, oil purposes the area the size of wyoming inside russia and you spent your entire adult life working there. so, there's 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 ceo of exxonmobil, some of the shareholders at exxonmobil might wonder whether or not the head of sierra club would put aside their whole past history in order to be able to advance that shareholder
interest. well, the shareholders of the united states, the people watching this hearing, are wondering the same thing about this issue with regard to your past history and not just the vast interests which exxonmobil has in russia, but in dozens of other countries across the world. now, earlier you said that you would recuse yourself from issues involving exxonmobil as required by statute. but that statute, that statutory recusal period is only for one year. you could be secretary of state for four years or for eight years. you, in my opinion, are going to have many, many issues after that one-year period is up that relates to the economic interest of exxonmobil. so i ask you, sir, if you would
be willing to recuse yourself for the duration of your time as secretary of state from any manner dealing with exxonmobil's economic interests so that the american people are sure that the only interest that you are ser serving is the interest of the american people. >> senator, as i kand indicated earlier, i will honor the statutory recusal period and after that any matter that might involve exxonmobil or has the appearance that it could lead to some type of conflict, i will seek the guidance of the ethic's council, review by them and if it is the view that would be proper for me to recuse, i'll honor that. >> well, again, one year is very brief period of time given the
vast economic interest effects of exxonmobil in nigeria, in iraq, in russia, in country after country around the world. i think mr. tillerson, it would be far better for you to say for the duration of your time as secretary that you will not allow for your own personal involvement to be a part of any decision about anything that affects exxonmobil anywhere in the world. i think the american people would feel much more comforted if you would, in fact, make that commitment to them. now, during your tenure as ceo, exxon has supported public policy groups who have spread climate denial. senator kaine dealt with that issue and also opposed clean energy including financial support in 2015 for the american
legislative exchange council and the manhattan institute, two groups which are climate deniers. in 2016, when the attorney general of massachusetts asked 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 had been critical of exxon. so we have evidence in the past that 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. so give the american people, given your personal history at kpoen mobile and the actions of that company, some reason to
have confidence that the climate agreement negotiated by secretary kerry and president obama will be something that the trump administration 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 lagger. we must be a leader. the world expects us to be the leader on climate change. please give us those assurances that you will guarantee that the state department will be the leader as it has been in advancing a climate agenda for our country. >> well, if confirmed, senator, i'm sure that there will be opportunity and i know the president-elect will want the opportunity to do a fulsome review of our policies around engagement on climate i issues,
global accords, global agreements. as i ind kalted, 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. and so there is important considerations as to as we commit to such accords and as those accords are executed over time, are there any elements of that put america at a disadvantage. >> do you believe that it should be a priority of the united states to work with other countries in the world to find climate change solutions to that problem? >> i think it's important for america to remain engaged in those discussions so we are at the table expressing a view and understanding what the impacts may be on the american people and american competitiveness. >> do you commit to ensure that no employee of the state department is influenced to take action because it would be favorable to business interests associated with the
president-elect, or his family? >> if i understood the question, yes. >> all right. the president-elect said famously in a tweet -- wouldn't you rather have in a certain sense have japan with nuclear weapons where 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. senator nun who introduced you 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 president-elect that it wouldn't be a bad thing for us, if japan and south korea and saudi arabia
acquired nuclear weapons? >> i think the process -- >> succinctly if you will. >> i think the priority has to be to deny north korea the ability to deploy its nuclear weapons. >> what about saudi arabia and south korea? >> senator paul, please. >> mr. tillerson, congratulations on your nomination. they say that those who refuse to learn 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, many, many times. i was wondering if you agree with this statement, and if you do agree with this statement, how it will 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. >> senator, i eluded to the iraq war in my opening comments when i indicated that actions over the past decades, while well
intended, had unintended consequences that in the end did not achieve the stability that we sought or the national security. and i think in that regard the decision to go into iraq and change the leadership in iraq upon reflection was perhaps -- did not achieve those objectives. we do not have a more stable region in the world and our national security has not been enhanced or is still certainly under threat today. >> i think that's important point that we talk about whether or not our national security was enhanced and sometimes gets lost in the emotions of these are terrible, evil people x, which ever country we're talking about and we have to do something about it and in reality we maybe forget that what we're trying to do is to be protecting our vital national interest. another statement that president-elect trump has made is that the u.s. should stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with.
this is kind of interrelated to the last question, but i think is also important in the sense that there are some within the foreign policy community who say, oh, we must go in and topple the regime in iran. it will be a cake walk. it will be -- you know, they'll welcome us with open arms. but one of the interesting things you find as you meet iranian-americans, many of whom lost all of their land, all of their wealth and you ask them about iran, and you say -- would it be a good idea to militarily invade iran and they say completely the opposite. much of iran is younger and pro-western and that the first bomb that is dropped you'll reverse a lot of goodwill that is potentially there when iran does finally change its regime on its own. but i think it's important because we do -- nobody wants iran to have nuclear weapons. nobody wants iran to be an aggressor in the region. at the same time, i think it is important that we look at the lessons of the iraq war. the iraq war actually emboldened iran, made iran stronger.
and so the questions are, you know, same thing with libya. we toppled the regime in libya. the question is with regard to iran, those who are advocating that it will be a cake walk, we should have military regime change, what do you think of that advocacy and what do you think of the donald trump statements with regard to regime change? >> well, i think -- and i think you described it in many ways and the same way i would see it is that what is in the best interest of our national security? and i think this is where these priorities sometimes come into conflict of our values and the projection of our american vams and our desire and out of our compassion for the mistreatment of people, the violation of human rights oppressive regimes, we want those people to have what we have. but balancing that against our national security interest and what's most important is that we are protecting the american people first. and this is where sometimes i
think our priorities -- we have too many priorities and therefore we lose sight of what is the most important. any decision to affect 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 i posed a couple times -- what comes next? and in the case of libya, i think that was the failing in the decision to change the regime there. no one had a clear plan or view of what would come next. that's what we're 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? certainly making a decision to use force is a serious, serious decision because we know it will come at a cost of precious american lives. so i think it is important and if confirmed as secretary of state 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 towards causing regimes who oppress their people to change their behavior and use all the other tools available to us. having said that, i do think that we have to be clear-eyed about the threat iran poses today and ensure that we have taken all steps appropriate through all mechanisms available to contain that threat. and to limit their ability to grow that threat and in particular not just on the nuclear acquired and nuclear weapon but more importantly their wide-spread support of terrorism around the world. we have to disrupt that. >> thank you. with regard to foreign aid, there's been a lot of love for foreign aid going around today, but i think there's another side that we ought to think about. there are many, many, many reports talking about corruption within foreign aid that we give
it to developing countries and 70% is stolen off the top. the mum baric family in egypt, everybody loved them. they were pro-western, pro-american and yet they're said to be worth about $15 billion. i don't think they've ever created anything other than they skim little bit off the top of everything that comes into the country. we've given them 60 billion and they're worth 10 or 15 billion. i believe it was the eker to yal guinea had one of their sons stopped in paris a few years ago loading about ten different cars on to an airplane that were all worth 200,000, $300,000 cars. so there's a lot of corruption. now, some of the things that have been mentioned are more directed towards either third party charities or private entities. i would argue that these are a lot less bad, but i would argue that we can't look at forward aid and say it's all great and all going to a good cause. sometimes it actually works in the opposite way. i'll give you an example in egypt. we gave so much in the mubaraks
took so much of this money. some of it they actually spent. they have to buy stuff from us with the money. it's sort of this creation of economic business kind of game that we do. but one of the things that they were -- they bought from us was tear gas. so when they had these big democratic protests in cairo, they're being doused with tear gas from the u.s. and they would pick the canisters up on the street. and i would argue that soft power isn't maybe giving a warm, soft fuzzy feeling for america. in supporting many people who really are not pro-human rights or pro-american interests, that actually sometimes the foreign aid backfires on us because they resist those leaders who are using undemocratic and forceful authoritarian means on their own people that it backfires, but i would appreciate your comments on whether or not you see any kind of difficulty or problems with corruption within foreign aid or if things that need to be reformed. >> senator, i'm very aware of
and even in my prior work i have seen the examples of what you described where even in disaster relief cases where foreign assistance is flown in, food supplies. and while they're literally being unloaded at the airport, military forces are picking them up and taking them away to be sold. so, it is all -- the challenge is never in the intent and our compassion and the need we're trying to address. the challenge is always in the execution. and i do think that it is important that we have as well-developed execution plans if we're going to deliver aid into often country where we know this is a risk, what can we do in the execution of the delivery of that aid. if it's disaster relief, are there other agencies we can partner with to limit that type
of theft going on. in terms of development assistance to the extent we do not give grants directly to governments but whether we give them to particular projects or perhaps partnering agencies or public/private sector initiatives which are executed by credible ngos so that the money just never passes through the hands, that's the preferred mechanisms, i think. >> then one final point i would make and you don't necessarily need to comment on this is that it's not only corruption but it's unintended consequences as a business person you'll immediately recognize this and i think even right and left agree on some of this. if you dump haiti for rice for ten years you ruin the ability for them to have their own rice market and grow their own rice. you want to give them rice during the middle of a famine, that's one thing. you have to be careful of having a big heart, small brain syndrome. i appreciate you thinking about corruption and then also thinking about unintended
consequences of iran. thank you. >> thank you. i want to -- i think you've made great contributions as it relates to foreign aid and i think that there is support for the 1% that we spend to try to use it in appropriate ways for a soft power. i think and i shared this with trump incoming transition group. we're still -- much of the aid is the cold war model where we're buying inflauns and so much of it needs to be -- all of it actually transformed into something that has appropriate ethicacy. what we're doing right now with food aid is beyond belief. and i can rant about this for another 20 minutes. it's beyond belief. but efforts like we have to end modern slavery where partnerships are created, where you're building on best practices, some of the things we're doing with water, some of the things we're doing with electricity, i think they are set up on the right principles,
but i appreciate the comments, i appreciate hopefully all of you looking at foreign aid because there is much waste, there is corruption. we could deliver it in a much better way. senator americaly? >> thank you, mr. chairman. it's a pleasure to join the committee. mr. tillerson, during his campaign, the president-elect talked a lot about what he saw as major mistakes with nafta and giving china full access to our market in terms of its impact on american manufacturing. he was very critical of the tpp. do you share his vision that nafta and wto china access and the tpp are big mistakes in terms of creating living wage american jobs? >> senator, my understanding of the issue that the president-elect has with those trade agreements is in the case of nafta it's an agreement that's been in place for decades now. and i think even president
pignet toe of mexico indicated that perhaps it needs a relook. we're in a different era in terms of the type of trade and technology but also the global trading environment has changed since that agreement took place. >> do you share his vision of the tpp? >> i do not oppose tpp. i share some of his views regarding whether the agreement that was negotiated serves all of america's interest best. >> thank you. >> exxon has a parter inship with shell that did a fair number of transactions with iran, bypassing u.s. sanctions. are you familiar with this -- the use of this subsidiary to bypass u.s. sanctions and do you think it was the right thing to do? the s.e.c. directly contacted
exxon saying this seems fairly material for investors, an effort to bypass u.s. sanctions and asked why exxon didn't disclose it. do you have any memory of that or discussions whether they should have disclosed these transactions? >> the question would be best placed to exxon mobile where it would reside. >> you were there. i'm asking if you had discussions of this or have a memory of it? >> i do not. >> if you were secretary of state and working to enforce u.s. sanctions and another ceo had a subsidiary up would you weigh in and say this is not a good idea, this undermines u.s. efforts to take on a serious terrorist threat or other malfeasance by some country in the world? >> i think there are proper authorities that would kmam min that and deal with it. >> that's not an issue of the
technicality of violating this -- the operation subsidiary was set up in europe specifically that exxon set up but it was inconsistent with the goal of u.s. policy to pressure iran and if you were the leader of the sec -- you were secretary of state, would you try to make sure the effectiveness of using sanctions would not undermined through the set up of foreign subsidiaries? >> i would certainly be open to having the -- having folks in the state department contact companies and just inquire as to whether they're aware of the actions that they're taking and the state department's view of that. >> well, to be aware of something is different to be concerned or upset by it. consider you would 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.
>> i understand, senator, but i also think it's important that the state department, as with any agency, also respects the laws that have been put in place. and there's a difference between expressing a concern and suggesting someone is breaking the law. >> yes. so, as you look back on the subsidiary, it doesn't upset you that exxon took that role and that you would not express concern if another company legally set up a foreign subsidiary to undermine u.s. sanctions? >> as i said, i don't recall the circumstances. >> i'm not asking you to recall the circumstances. i'm asking your answer is that you don't consider that a problem, it sounds like you're not considering that to be an issue. >> i don't know the examples, so i don't know how to answer the question. >> okay. that's all. thank you. let's turn to lobbying ukraine. you said i never personally lobbied against sanctions. to my knowledge exxon never
lobbied. there's a whole host of material about exxon lobbying on the sanctions and whole host in which exxon reports in the law they lobbied on these bills that imposed sanctions. there's your report at the 2014 meeting and i quote, we do not support sanctions generally. and you continued so we always encourage the people who are making those decisions to consider the very broad clat lal damage of who are they really harming and i would like to enter these articles into the record if i could. and it's article titled new york times rex tillerson's company kpon has billions at stake over sanctions at russia. it lays out exxonmobil helped defeat russia sanctions bill and notes how it's model successfully lobbied that would make it harder for the next president to lift sanctions against russia. another article lays out tillerson visited the white house often over the russian
sanctions. so there's a host of material showing wide-spread pattern of weighing against these interests that were harming kpoen mobile's interest in russia. do you still maintain that exxonmobil did not lobby against these sanctions? >> exxonmobil did not lobby against the sanctions but were engaged in how the sanctions would be constructed. as to the reports of my visits to the white house, my visits were to work through the process of exxonmobil's compliance with the sanctions. i described earlier the situation where when the sanctions were enacted there were drilling activities that involved considerable risk that were under way for which exxonmobil sought special license in order to complete those in full compliance with the sanctions. had we been denied the license, we would have had to pull people out or exxonmobil would have had to pull people out at that time. >> is that the only instance in
which you weighed in? >> i'm sorry? >> 20 meetings going to the white house, that's the only issue you weighed in on exxonmobil's sanctions? >> i don't recall 20 meetings, but the visits to the white house -- because under the terms of the compliance with the sanctions first the first action was to seek the license to allow us to deal with imminent risk of the drilling situation. following that, ofac required us, exxonmobil, to file reports on a periodic basis. exxonmobil has holdings in russia that are not subject to the sanctions. in partnership which does contain individuals who are subject to the sanctions -- >> i'm going to summarize that these reports you consider to be incorrect? >> they are inaccurate. >> thank you. i'll continue. there are three individuals
involved in the trump campaign, paul manafort, carter page who public reports have been involved in dialogue with russia, with the goal of finding a common strategy, with russia believes that trump would be better on syria and ukraine policy and trump believing that russia could help defeat hillary clinton. now, these reports have not been substantiated. i'm sure much more will come on them, but in theory how do you feel about a u.s. candidate turning to a foreign country to essentially find another partner in defeating another opponent in a u.s. presidential election? >> that would not comport with our democratic process. >> thank you. i'm sure we'll have a lot of discussion of this because the extent of the false news stories the hacking, the cyber warfare, the use of bot nets to amplify
false news stories, hiring of trolls all of which really attack the fundamentals of our democracy and the reports have it that russia not only wanted to weigh in in the election but they also wanted to undermine u.s. confidence, the citizen's confidence in our electoral process and in our democratic values, so that's a real concern to the future of our state and i assume it's a concern that you might share as well. >> yes, sir, it's a concern i share. i also noted in the publicly availably report that i read that the interagency report acknowledged that these types of activities were carried out during the cold war as well. the tools of sophistication have only advanced with the advent of cyber. >> yes. many of these tools were internet based electronic cyber warfare that didn't -- was much different in that setting. when we come back in our next round, because i'm a few seconds left, i would like to ask a few questions about exxon's
involvement guinea, my colleague mentioned it on the other side and i think that would be of interest. thank you. >> thank you. >> thank you very much, mr. chairman. congratulations on your nomination. i want to go to your opening statement and try to talk about a couple things we haven't really gotten into yet. one of the statements you made had to do with defeating isis. as you said, defeating isis must be our foremost priority in the middle east. you go on to say but defeat will not occur on the battlefield alone. we must win the war of idea. if i can just engage you a little bit to talk about how we can use diplomatic efforts and other ways to target and actually undermine the isis ideology and its legitimacy and how can we do that and improve u.s. led coordination in the region with our allies. >> well, the defeat of isis globally is extremely challenging because it does not represent a country that we can apply traditional approaches to. the defeat of isis as an ideology, in other words, other than the battlefield, is going
to require advanced capabilities in our own communication tools in terms of disrupting their communication to develop their network, more importantly to further their ideology. this means getting into the internet air space and putting forth different ideas and disrupting their delivery of ideas to people who are persuaded to join them. isis -- the defeat of isis in the middle east removing thee i caliphate tiratory. that will not defeat isis once and for all, it will morph to its next version. we see that already as terrorist organizations existing in other parts of the world have decided to identify themselves with isis just because of the strength of their brand, quite frankly. so i think it's going to require a comprehensive interagency effort informed by intelligence and informed by 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, again, there's not a country that identifies itself as isis. that's why taking away the caliphate is so important. >> even looks like they're trying to extend in afghanistan, i was there in thanksgiving and near jalalabad and the afghan, pakistan border seems like they're trying to establish a caliphate there. the cancer has spread. i appreciate those thoughts. in your opening statement you just talked about and even those that introduced you talked about the fact that the u.s. is not as strong and respected as it had been previously and that we need a foreign policy aimed as securing our national interests, demonstrating our leadership. from a standpoint of credibility, you and i talked about having the capacity to do something, having a commitment to use that capacity and communicating that commitment about the capacity.
could you share with us a little bit about what you intend to do in terms of restoring america's position in the world. >> well, as i indicated in the opening statement also, we are dealing from a position of strength. the only reason we're not perceived to be there with our strength is because we're not asserting that strength in these issues. so it does begin with reconnecting with friends and allies that our commitment is to the stability of region. that if there are existing commitments and agreements in place that we fully intend to fulfill those. and then developing a strategy in the region to deal with the most imminent threat. it means projecting the strength of our u.s. military might, but hopefully not having to use it in terms of trying to persuade countries to change their course of action. but in the case of 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, our greatest allies, that we recommit to the syrian kurds that we intend to continue to support you with the capability to continue the advance on racca and then build coalition forces that can contain isis if it attempts to move into the other parts of the country. and eliminate them from syria to begin. i think the effort in iraq is progressing. hopefully it will progress to a successful conclusion in terms of removing the caliphate from isis. >> staying in the middle east in terms of the relationship between israel and the pal tin yans. i always felt as has been the position of the country that direct negotiations between the parties without interference from outsiders was the key. the obama administration recently abandoned israel with the one-sided resolution at the
security council of the united nations by sustaining abstaining from a vote, which in the past we would routinely have ve toed. can you talk a little bit about your views on the refusal to veto the resolution and the subsequent speech by secretary kerry? >> well, israel is, has always been and remains our most important ally. in the region. they're important to our national security. the u.n. resolution that was passed in my view is not helpful. i think it actually undermines setting a good set of conditions for talks to continue. the secretary's speech, which followed that u.n. 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 and
the talks. i think in the trump administration president-elect made it clear and if i'm confirmed i agree entirely and support we have to recommit -- this is in the statements i keep making about renewing and committing that we are going to meet our obligations to israel as our most important strategic partner in the region. >> staying with the united nations, you talked about the international agreements, specifically you were asked about the climate agreements, the international climate change, funding is a part of that. the obama administration has unilaterally pledged $3 billion to the u.n. green climate fund the administration requested 1.3 billion for global climate change initiatives in this year's president's budget for fiscal year 2017. you mentioned donald trump campaigning on america first. will you commit to ensuring that no funding will go to the u.n. green climate fund? >> in consultation with the
president, my expectation is that we're going to look at all these things from a bottom up in terms of funds we've committed towards this effort. >> senator isaacson asked about and talked about the value of using soft power and it seems there's so many opportunities whether it's humanitarian assistance, democracy promotion, embassy security measures that are necessary and countering global terrorism threats where money could be better spent than on these efforts. i appreciate your effort to look into that. senator corker earlier talked about some of the wonderful things that have been done around the world because of u.s. involvement in soft power. part of that is power 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 that hadn't been previously in terms of helping as a tool for those countries, so people can get better 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. and we've seen where the world bank has blocked funding for coal fire 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 who are living in poverty and without power. >> well, i think -- and i know you touched on it, but nothing lifts people out of poverty than is electricity. that's a fact. you give them the light, refrigerate, food, medicine, it changes their entire quality of life. they no longer cook on animal dung and wood cooking in their homes. so health issues, their health improves. i think it's very important that we use wisely the american people's dollars as we support these programs. that means whatever is the 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. >> thank you. thank you, mr. chairman. >> thank you. just to give state of play, we're running slightly behind. we're going to go ahead and finish up with senator kunz and senator portman. we'll take a 45-minute recess when these two gentlemen finish their time. each of them will have ten minutes when they get back to start and then we'll resume again in the same order. and we'll do seven-minute rounds when we get back. so it looks like we'll recess about 1:30 p.m. and come back at 2:15 p.m. and with that, senator. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. tillerson, good afternoon. to your whole family, welcome and thank you for your willingness to serve this country in this important post
and i appreciate the frank conversation we had in my office last week and i just want the american people to hear some of the answers you gave me on some pressing and relevant questions around your nomination and your views on the world, but in a focussed way and on the record. many of my colleagues have already asked about how you will handle the transition from ceo of the world's leading energy oil company to secretary of state, advocating for human rights and open press and democracy. i've been encouraged to hear you say that we will stand by our nato allies, that you would not support accepting the annexation of crimea by russia and that you see russia as currently an adversary and possibly an enemy. and i want to focus in on how you see putin's leadership in russia's role. you said previously 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. in that they have used a wide range of tools and we have not successfully pushed back on their campaign. i led a bipartisan delegation to eastern europe in august and was struck at the number of times in the countries where we were briefed on a continuous campaign to divide europe and the united states, to undermine our nato alliance and to divide europe from within. and that russia has used all the tools of state power, both overt and covert to wage an aggressive propaganda campaign. back in the '90s, after the fall of the soviet union, we used effectively radio-free europe. we were engaged in a full-on fight for democracy in the former warsaw pac countries. i think we should be using all of our tools to push back on this russian aggression. do you see rt as a russian propaganda outlet and how would you use and lead the resources of the state department to counter russian propaganda and
to push back on this effort to change the rules of the world order? >> well, as you point out, utilizing the opportunity to communicate to the people of russia, you know, through mechanisms successful in the past, radio free europe and utilizing those type of sources as well as providing information on the internet to the extent people can access 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 of moscow. that is an important way in which to at least begin to inform the russian people as to what the realities are in the world and it is an important tool that should be utilized. >> it is the intelligence community's assessment that the kremlin has a long-standing plan to undermine the global
democratic order that we spent so much time and effort building in the decades since the second world war. will you rely on and will you encourage the president-elect to rely on the career professionals in the intelligence community in your role as secretary of state if confirmed? >> senator, i have enormous respect for the intelligence agencies and the vital role that they play. so i will certainly be informed by their findings and i think in terms of then understanding that as they afpply to the facts on the ground, it's important for guiding our future options how to respond. >> i know this press conference has happened while you've been here in this confirmation hearing, 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 effort and he gave no more specific response to the question, what should we
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 to enact sanctions so that it's not just the action of one outgoing president. you've given some constructive answers previously about your view on sanctions and your view that if done in a solid and sustainable way they can be a constructive tool of foreign policy. please, reassure me that you would welcome working closely with congress on enacting sanctions against russia in response to their war crimes in syria, their invasion of crimea and its occupation and their attack on our democracy. >> if confirmed, senator, i look forward to engaging with this particular committee particularly on the construct of new sanctions. and i think as i've indicated in response to other questions what
i would hope is that the executive branch and then my role at the state department if confirmed would be the latitude to use those sanctions and efforts to cause modifications in russia's positions if there are already in place and mandatory, then that may remove some opportunities for us to explore ways in which we can use them as a tool. and give the russian government the option of moving because of the threat of those. >> well, i will say, if i could, mr. tillerson, that i was a member of this committee when the current secretary of state came and asked us not to strengthen sanctions against iran, to give the executive branch the freedom to operate and i think by vote of 99-0 the senate went ahead with bipartisan sanctions. senator menendez pressed you about this earlier. i do think that we should work in concert and in consultation, but there are some tools that
congress sometimes chooses to move forward with and it's my hope we could strengthen sanctions to show our determination to contain putin's aggression and to push back on his adversarial actions. let me move to another topic, if i could. do you think it advances america's interests to have the russian military supporting assad, coordinating with iran, and engaging in combat actions in syria against the moderate opposition and folks we relied on as allies in the fight against ie snis. >> as i indicated in my opening remarks that is contrary to american's interest. >> how can we strengthen iran's hand and in your view as you reconsider the nuclear agreement with iran, if we withdraw from the agreement unilaterally, how will we sustain the current level of visibility we have into iran's nuclear program and how would that make us safer or
stronger? >> with respect to the recent agreement to limit iran's ability to advance or make progress towards the development of a nuclear weapon, if confirmed, my recommendations -- and i think it's consistent with the president-elect now -- is to do a full review of that agreement as well as any number of side agreements that i understand are part of that agreement. examine what, you know -- whether iran and our ability to verify whether iran is meeting its obligations under the agreement and ensure that we are enforcing all mechanisms available that hold them to that agreement. no one disagrees with the ultimate objective that iran cannot have a nuclear weapon. the current agreement that does freeze their ability to progress, but it does not ultimately deny them the ability to have a nuclear weapon. my understanding is that the current agreement, for instance, does not deny them the ability to purchase a nuclear weapon.
it just means -- it just denies them the ability to develop one. so i think there are additional areas that have to be considered and most importantly if we choose to use this agreement, as a way to provide an opportunity to discuss what comes next, because the real important questions is what comes at the end of this agreement? and what comes at the end of this agreement must be a mechanism that does, in fact, deny iran the ability to develop a nuclear weapon and that means no uranium enrichment in iran, no nuclear materials stored in iran. and the other side of that is what does iran get would be through working with partners would be to provide iran the access and the means to peaceful uses of nuclear materials, nuclear power, medical applications, industrial applications, but that would be done under a very controlled process working with other
partners to do that. whether iran is prepared to chart a pathway that looks like that, we'll only know once we engage in discussions. >> well, many members of this committee look forward to working with you to make sure we are restraining iran's nuclear ambitions effectively, fiercely and that we are implements what we get out f that agreement and reviewing that going forward. >> thank you. i appreciate your observation that every administration is anxious to work with congress until such a time it in any way inhibits their ability to do whatever they wish. so thank you for that. senator portman? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. tillerson it's been a long morning and now going into the long afternoon i think i'm the one person between you and a break, so i'll try to be as quick as i can and -- look, i appreciate your willingness to step forward and serve your country and i know it's not without some sacrifice, but also
an incredible opportunity. we talked a little in my office and i appreciate your meeting with me about restoring america's role in the world and just listening today to your testimony back and forth i think there is a consensus building in this country that we do need to do some things immediately to put america back in a position of being trusted and respected by our allies and adversaries. i like to look at it more that we're not looking to be the world's policemen but to put it in texas terms more like the sheriff who gets the posse together and the eastern border of ukraine and crimea, that would be nato. and although ukraine not a member of nato, that region relies on it and those countries need leadership. and with regard to ssyria, it's the kurds the sunni countries in the neighborhood and so it's the posse. and in the south china sea where china sea, they have been
aggressive. they're looking for leadership and that's the umbrella we provided since world war ii is kept the peace. so i hope that's consistent with what you have told me in private and what you're saying here publicly today. i think there's an opportunity as well as a sacrifice related to your service. as we talked about in our meeting, number of my constituents in my home state of ohio has family ties to eastern, central europe, including ukraine, very interested in those issues. as a result i've gotten much more deeply involved in those issues including the last several years including traveling to that region. my questions are going to focus a lot on that. first on nato, just to be clear, there was a discussion about nato earlier and particularly article 5, armed attack against one or more member shall be considered an attack against them all. can you just clarify that you believe article 5 creates a binding obligation to assist any member of the alliances a victim of aggression regardless of their size or geographic location? >> yes, sir, i do. >> as secretary of state, would you ever threaten to break the
u.s. commitment to article 5 as a means of pressuring allies to spend more on defense? >> i would not recommend that, no, sir. >> okay. understanding that i think all of us around this die yas would like to see our partners step up and do more in terms of their defense budget. since 2014, of course ukraine has struggled to defend its sovereignty against this russian aggression that's been discussed a lot today. one point that has not been discussed in the way i think it ought to be is the fact that back in 1994 the united states, britain, russia and ukraine signed an agreement, the budapest memorandum said when ukraine regained its independence following its collapse, possessed the third largest nuclear arsenal n exchange for giving up that nuclear arsenal, we would assure ukraine's sovereignty. that's very important. it sends a signal. what kind of signal does that
send, clearly that agreement has been violated by russia. and the question is, you know, whether we're going to keep to that agreement as well, in my view. so a couple questions, one, in your brin statement you talk about the taking of crimea. just to clarify, do you regard the russian annexation of crimea as an illegal occupation and annexation? >> yes, i do. >> okay. do you pledge the united states would never recognize that annexation of crimea if you serve as secretary of state, similar to the way the united states never recognized the soviet occupation of the baltic states? >> the only way that that could ever happen is if there were some broader agreement that was satisfactory to the ukrainian people, so absent that, no, weld never recognize that. >> okay. i think that's fair. the president-elect were to ask you for your advice as secretary of state remain sanctions against russia for itself
actions in crimea until russia ceased its aggression and fulfilled its obligation, what would you tell him? >> as i indicated in answer to a question earlier, i would recommend maintaining the status quo until we are able to engage with russia and understand better what their intentions are. >> does that mean keeping the sanctions in place? >> yes, sir. >> as russia continues arming, training, organizing and fight alongside the separatists in eastern ukraine, do you support providing lethal assistance to ukrainians can defend themselves? >> i think it's important that we support the ukrainians in all ways to protect themselves from any further expansion or aggression. i'm hopeful that cease fires will hold, but in the absence of that, then it is -- i think it's important for us to support them in their ability to defend themselves. >> so you would provide them with defensive, lethal weapons to be able to defend themselves? >> if that would come in
consultation through the national security council and certainly would require the input of others, but i would support that. >> this united states senate son record supporting that, the administration has chosen not to do that. they used their national security waiver as my chairman talked about earlier. i think this is significant and heard you say that earlier. this is a big change in terms of u.s. policy that's positive and would get russia to the table in my view. we talked a lot about the terrorist threat here today and obviously that's a growing threat that we need to address and much more aggressive way. i believe there's another growing threat to our national security. and to the stability of our al lice around the world and democratic allies in particular. it's not a ka nettic or military threat, it's propaganda, misinformation. russia, china, in particular but also other countries are more and more pursuing these extensive disinformation and propaganda campaigns against the united states and other
democracies. and by the way, this happened well before our most recent presidential election and the information we have today about what might have happened here in this country i think is part of a broader effort that we ought to be more focussed on, which is this effort of disinformation and not just by russia. when i've been to ukraine and the baltic countries, members of nato, by the way, i've been struck by the conversations i had with their leadership. this is at the top of their mind, top of their list. they feel like they're under assault everyday. they feel like they are sovereign democrated elected governments have being attacked through this disinformation and propaganda campaigns. i've also been struck by public comments by officials in germany, the uk and over time comments by our friends in japan, taiwan and places about the meddling in their democracies. as you know, these operations blend a range of tools and methods including false news, hacking, troll farms to flood the zone on social media.
funding think tanks right here in this town and political organizations that help them and also state-owned media, some of whom are following your hearing today and are here in the room with us today. senator murphy and i have legislation recently signed into law meant to strengthen our outdated u.s. response to this propaganda campaigns and establishes a new interagency center at the state department to coordinate and synchronize u.s. counterpropaganda activities against threats that's being passed. one, how would you influence it? second, what should be done about it? do you support the establishment of this new agency and put your personal support behind that? >> senator, as i indicated in that response to a question earlier in terms of the broader threat of cyber and i put all of the ak tiftds that you just described as a subset because those are largely delivered through digital means to people in terms of the propaganda or
the undermining, the placing of fake news, all of that is done by enlarging the digital space. so as part of this comprehensive cyber strategy, it has to include how do we deal with all of this misinformation that goes on around the world and there are a number of actors playing in this space, russia most notably, as you point out, but we know that others are playing in the space as well to undermine legitimate governments. to be honest, the bad actors have got the jump on us. they've been at this already for some time and we've failed to develop a way to respond to that in that digital space. and so this is -- it's a very complex, technical issue that i think has to be part of the comprehensive assessment of how are we going -- how is the u.s. going to protect itself in the cyberspace and all the aspects of those threats that presents themselves including the one that you just described. and what are the mechanisms for
response, appropriate responses, and how do we get international agreement around some of that that sends messages back to the bad actors that there's going to be a cost if this continues, that there's a consequence to these actions. what is that -- what is the proper proportional or if it's not proportional, maybe it's asymmetrical, i don't know the answers because i think that's part of the what's needed in a comprehensive assessment will be multi, multi-interagency driven. but that is, i think, one of the most vexing challenges in front of us but we can't just be vexed by it. we need to begin to address it. >> well, it sounds like you acknowledge the threat. i would just add one footnote, i don't disagree with you that our cyber response is the weakest part of our response and we need to strengthen that, but it's beyond cyber. again, this is -- it's media. it's funding, think tanks that are spreading this disinformation and false news. it's some of it is pretty old
fashion. you know, we are just not up to the task. and radio for europe is not the answer. i look forward to working with you in that regard. thank you mr. chairman. >> thank you. we will recess until 2:15 p.m. sharp. we will begin with senator rich and booker if they are here and then start at the beginning. i'll see you at 2:15. as far as getting in to -- i've told senator carden, if there is a substantial issue that we need to look at that would affect senator tillerson -- excuse me, you don't want to be demoted to that, the nominee tillerson's role, then i'm more than glad to look much deeper into it and if we need to have somebody from the outside do so, but to get into silly gotch ya questions, not that you've done that, that's just not what we've done in this committee. and i hope we will not turn this
process into one that turns qualified people away from wanting to serve. so again, if there's some substantive issue that we need to pursue and we need to get into some private setting and have someone come in from accounting firm that really matters as it relates to his ability not have conflicts as a secretary of state or something like that, i'm willing to look at it as i know he is. asking questions that, you know, are not in any way determinetive in that manner to me is belittling the committee and certainly a huge change in the protocol and the respect with which we dealt with nominees and their privacy. >> if you can just yield for one moment. i thank you for that. and i can assure you, the disagreement on supplying tax returns has nothing do with mr. tillerson. it's a discussion we are having and it has not at all delayed any of our operations and i
fully expect that i will continue to use whatever meanings i can to change our committee practices so that we do have our nominees, as many other committees in the senate require, to file a tax return. that's not unique. small business i've been told by senator sha heen requires. but the second point i want to make very quickly is that the second point -- the ability of members to ask questions for the record and ask questions of the nominee is pretty well been respected. and i would hope that that right would not be diminished, that we have the ability to ask questions through the witnesses in regards to areas that we think are important. >> no one in any way is trying to diminish that. i know that you and i have agreed on a series of questions that will come from the committee itself and mr. tillerson as i understand it is going to answer those. i would think that absolutely the arrangement that he has with
exxon is something that should be fully vetted and everyone here understands that that is going to happen and he's going to make that all forth and has actually. i would just say again we may wish to change our standards for four years from now. our most recent secretary of state, as i understand it, as a couple is worth over a billion dollars. and all kinds of far-ranging investments. and as a committee, we never tried to force a tax return issue. they ask in the disclosures and we as a committee ask them questions. same thing happened with secretary clinton. all i'm trying to do is not in any way change the way we operate because of the outcome of an election.
and continue to be again that island of bipartisanship where we continue to operate regardless of who wins an election in the same manner i'm in no way trying to infer that you're attempting to do that. i'm just telling you what i'm attempting to do. with that, if we can close this matter out, i'll turn to senator rubio. >> thank you. mr. tillerson, thank you for coming by on monday night. i provided you a copy of the bill that was filed in the last congress which i anticipate has or will be filed again in this new congress here in the senate by my colleague senator flake and senator leahy, what it would do is remove the travel band to cuba by americans. if you are confirmed and that bill were to pass to congress, would you advise -- can you commit that you would advise the president to veto that bill? >> senator, as to the current status of travel to cuba, that is going to be under discussion with the president-elect. i think he's been fairly clear on his intent that he is going
to ask all agencies essentially on day one to do a complete review of recent executive orders and the change in the status of travel to cuba as well as business activities in cuba. so that would be -- it would be my expectation that the president would not immediately approve that bill until after that review had occurred. that would be part of a broader view of our posture towards cuba. >> well, again, if he doesn't act on the bill, i would would become law without a signature. at this time, you cannot commit to supporting a veto of that bill should it pass? >> well, i would support a veto because i don't think we want to change the current status of things until we completed that review. >> okay. that was the question i wanted to get to. let me ask you this, if a bill were to pass congress that would remove the u.s. embargo against cuba and there hasn't been democratic changes on the island of cue barks would you advise the president to veto a bill that lifted the embargo on cuba? >> if confirmed, yes, i would.
>> and can you also commit that you would advise the president to reverse many, if not all, of the obama administration's cuba regulations and executive orders regarding cuba that were recently submitted in 2014? >> as indicated, i expect a comprehensive review of all those executive orders and from the state department perspective would want to examine carefully the criteria, on the list of terrorist nations that support terrorism. whether or not the circumstances which led to that delisting still exist. >> you do not currently have an opinion at this time as to whether cuba belongs on the list of terror sponsors? >> well, i would need to examine all the criteria that were used to make the current determination and then utilizing that expertise of those in the state department to get informed by the interagency process to look at those criteria that
would put cuba back on that list. >> as i'm sure you're aware, there is a dispute between china and japan over control this island chain. if china attempted to take over the island chain through the use of military force, would you support the united states responding with military force to prevent that from happening? >> well, we have long-standing ally commitments with japan and south korea in the area and i think we would respond in accordance with those accords which are not a nato-type agreement but certainly we have made commitments to japan in terms of a guarantee of their defense. >> i want to in our opening remarks you referred to human rights and i'm glad you did and i want to walk you through a few examples quickly. i shared with you when we met on monday a political prisoner data base maintained by the congressional executive commission on china contains more than 1,400 active records of individuals known or believed to be in detention.
do you believe china is one of the worst human rights violators? >> china has serious human rights violations relative -- i would have to have more information, but they certainly have serious human rights violations. >> since president rodrigo duterte took office in june, over 6,200 people have been killed in the philippines over alleged drug raids and police. is this the right way to conduct an anti-drug campaign? >> senator, the u.s., america and the people of the philippines have a long-standing friendship and i think it's important that we keep that in perspective in engaging with the go government of the philippines, they have been an ally and we need to ensure they stay an ally. >> my question is about the 6,200 people that have been killed in these alleged drug raids. do you believe that that is an
appropriate way to conduct that operation or do you believe that it is something that's conducive to human rights violations that we should be concerned about and condemning? >> senator, confirmed again, it's an area i would want to understand in greater detail in terms of the facts on the ground. i'm not disputing anything you're saying because i know you have access to information that i do not have. >> this is from the los angeles times. >> again, i'm not going to rely on solely what i read in the newspapers. i will go to the facts on the ground. i'm sure there's good, credible information available through our various government agencies. >> well, one of the sources for that number in the campaign and its nature is president dur tear ta himself who openly brags about the people who are being shot and killed on the streets who he has determined are drug dealers without any trial. so, if in fact he continues to brag about it, would that be reliable information that you would look at and say, oekay, it's happening. what's happening in the philippines, it's not an intelligence issue, it's openly
reported. the president-elect has spoken about it, press accounts, and quite frankly the president of the pill feens admitted to it and in fact brags about it. my question is, is that in your opinion an appropriate way for him to act and should it influence our relationship with the philippines? >> if the facts are, in fact supportive of those numbers and actions, then i don't think any of us would accept that as a proper way to deal with offenders, no matter how egregious the offenders may be. >> i'm sure you're also aware of the lack of both religious freedoms and the rights and lack of rights of women in saudi arabia. and in your opinion, is saudi arabia a human rights violator? >> saudi arabia does not certainly share the same values of america. however, american interests have been advocating in saudi arabia for some time and i think the question is what is the pace of progress that should be expected for the kingdom of saudi arabia
to advance rights to women and others in the country. >> as it currently stands, do you consider what they're doing to be human rights violations? >> i would need to have greater information, senator, in order to make a true determination of that. >> you're not familiar with the state of affairs for people in saudi arabia, what life is like for women? they can't drive. people jailed and lashed. you are familiar with all of that? >> yes, senator, i'm familiar with all of that. and -- >> so what more information would you need? >> in terms of when you designate someone or label someone the question is that the most effective way to have progress continue to be made in saudi arabia or any other country. so my interest is the same as your's. our interests are not different, senator. there seems to be some misunderstanding that somehow i see the world through a different lens. i do not. i share all the same values that you share and want the same things for people in the world over in terms of freedoms, but
i'm also clear eyed and realistic about dealing in cultures -- these are centuries-long cultures, cultural differences. doesn't mean we can't affect them and affect them to change and in fact over the many, many years that i've been traveling to the kingdom, while the pace has been slow, slower than any of us wish, there is a change under way in the kingdom of saudi arabia. how and if they ever arrive to the same value system we have, i can't predict that. but what i do believe is it is moving in the direction that we want it to move. what i wouldn't want to do is to take some kind of a precipitous action that suddenly causes the leadership in the kingdom of saudi arabia to have to disrupt that. i would like for them to continue to make that progress. >> senator menendez? >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. tillerson, i know that you're new to this and i know that the chairman was trying to help you out on the question of lobbying on sanctions, you stated on the record that to
your knowledge neither you nor exxon ever lobbied against sanctions that you were merely seeking information. i have four different lobbying reports totaling millions of dollars as required by the lobbying disclosure act that lists exxonmobil's lobbying activities on four specific pieces of legislation authorizing sanctions, including the comprehensive iran sanctions divestment act of 2010. the prevention act of 2014, the freedom support act of 2014 and the stanford ukraine act. now, i know you're new to this, but it's pretty clear my understanding is that when you employ lobbyists who submit it under the law you are taking a position, is that not correct? >> if the form clearly indicates whether we were -- i don't know that i haven't seen the form you're holding in your hand so i don't know if it indicates we're lobbying for or against the
sanctions. >> i know you weren't lobbying for the sanctions, but -- >> if the form there -- >> it says specifically for example here specific lobbying issues russian aggression prevention of 2014 provisions related to energy, you weren't lobbying for sanctions on energy, were you? >> i think that's a description of the subject that was discussed. i haven't seen the form, senator, so i don't want to be -- >> let me just edify you for the future, you don't need a lobbying disclosure form to simply seek information and clarification about a bill. that's not lobbying. lobbying specifically is to promote a view, a position and whatnot. so, that's -- i would ask to have these include t in record. >> without objection. >> so there was lobbying here. i know that senator booker asked you about usa engagement, you said you don't know about it. but exxonmobil is listed on the engage whose whole purpose -- i'm sure that exxonmobil is a
huge corporation like the state department is a very big entity, that you may not know every minutia what's going on, but you have to generally understand that you're giving direction as to whether or not you want to be lobbying on certain issues or not, whether you want to take certain positions or not, so just like you told me earlier that in your world conversation with the president-elect you didn't discuss russia, it's a little difficult to think you actually don't know that exxonmobil was lobbying on these issues of sanctions. >> my understanding is those reports are required whether you're lobbying for something or lobbying against something. you're still required to report that you have lobbying interests. >> you believe you were paying money to lobby for sanctions. >> i don't know. all i know senator -- >> can you imagine being in a position in which you would have your company and its shareholders pay money to lobby for sanctions that would affect your bottom line? >> i don't know, senator. it would depend on the circumstance. >> let me turn to mexico. a little different part of the
world than we've been discussing. some of the us care about the western hemisphere. last week the president-elect tweeted that any money spent on building the great wall will be paid by mexico. mr. tillerson, building a wall in the southern border and having mexico pay for it has been the hallmark chant at trump rallies. now the president-elect says the american people will pay for it and then that the mexicans will reimburse us. i also want to point out that the last time a country tried to wall itself completely from its neighbor was in berlin in 1961. and that wall was constructed by communist east germany. former mexican president tweeted and it seems that somehow we are conducted foreign policy by tweets these days that trump may ask whoever he wants but still neither myself nor mexico are going to pay for his racist monument. another promise he can't keep, closed quotes. as you're well aware, the president-elect has repeatedly
referred to mexican citizens who have come to the united states as saying they're sending, quote, people who have lots of prons and they're problems those problems with us, bringing drugs, crime, rapists and some, some i assume are good people. so mr. tillerson, do you think mexicans are criminals, drug dealers and rapists? >> i would never characterize an entire population of people with any single term at all. >> do you think that those comments help our relationship with mexico, or third largest trading partner, a trading partner that represents $583 billion in trades of goods and services, including our second largest goods export market? >> mexico is a long-standing neighbor and friend of this country. >> and so, that doesn't help your job as a secretary of state, does it, if you are to achieve nomination? >> well, we're going to engage with mexico because of their importance to us in this hemisphere and we have many,
many common issues, common areas of concern. >> let me turn to another part of the western hemisphere, senator rubio referred to it so he took care of some of the things we kaer cared about. you indicated to me on cuba you needed more time, which is fair, so come to a conclusion about your opinion on u.s./cuba policy and the obama administration changes. i want to share with you the latest report by -- not me, by amnesty international, that noted, quote, despite increasingly open diplomatic relations, deveer restrictions on freedoms of expression, association and movement continue. thousands of cases of harassment of government critics and arbitrary arrests and detentions were reported. thousands. that's their quote. the cuban commission for human rights and national reconciliation which works within cuba, documented more than 8,600 politically motivated detentions of government opponents and activists during the year. there's a group of women who march every sunday to church,
they're called the women in white. they get beaten savagely simply because of their peaceful protests. now, i would hope that you would agree with me that if our engagement is still going to allow that to take place, then something is wrong with our engagement. something fell short. and i have a specific question on cuba. do you think that as a condition of establishing diplomatic relations with cuba we at a minimum should have insisted on the return of fugitives, cop killers, like new jersey cop killer joe ann and other american fugitives of justice being harbored by the castro regime? >> i do, senator. >> thank you very much. now, would you finally commit yourself, if you are confirmed as secretary of state to work with us and others, new mexico and others have cop killers a that are in cuba to make that conditioning of any future transactions as it relates to cuba? >> senator, if confirmed i look
forward to working with you most specifically as well as senator rubio and others have a great depth of knowledge on cuba to ensure that we are not relaxing the pressure on cuba to reform its oppressive regime and certainly as i indicated in response to a question ernlier and in my opening remarks, cuban leadership got a lot out of the most recent deal. we need to make no mistake about where the flows of funds are going inside of cuba. and the cuban people got almost nothing. as i indicated the president-elect has been very clear on his intent to direct a bottoms up review of the entire relationship with cuba. >> thank you. >> i appreciate the great senator from new jersey acknowledging that when our nominee has left an impression that i don't think he is wishing to leave that i am giving him an opportunity to change that. thank you. >> and with that, senator, rish -- >> mr. chairman, thank you. >> he has got a ten-minute
segment because he missed the first round. thank you for being here. >> thank you, mr. chairman. i won't take that full ten minutes. mr. tillerson, thank you for your willingness to do this. you're going to be hitting the ground at a very difficult time as far as u.s. relationships around the world. they've spiralled out of control from time to time and we are not in a good place in many parts of the world, primarily because of u.s. policy. and it's going to be rethought. it's going to be redeveloped and i thank you for willing to take -- willingness to take that on. i was struck when you were named that this is something that's been a bit off of the radar screen of most americans, and that is the importance of the work that the state department does in dealing with our companies and with commerce in foreign countries. most americans don't realize how
difficult it is to do business overseas and the state department really needs to focus on that more than what they have and be helpful to countries that do want to do business overseas because it is a lot of times it has to go through a government sources to get into business over there. so, i was impressed with that. i'm glad having your business background that you do i think you'll be very helpful in that regard in helping the state department further understand its responsibilities in that regard. the state department does a good job. every one of us have traveled overseas, sometimes in bipartisan fashion, isn't that right? and we are always treated regardless of the political party so well by our people -- state department people that are working there. we've talked a lot -- russia's got a lot in play at this
meeting, but we haven't talked much about iran and north korea. those are couple real challenges for us. and those -- those policies, as far as those two countries are concerned -- really need to be rethought and recalibrated and then reannounced in a way that they understand what america is going to do, where we're coming from and what we're going to do. i think -- in talking with people, our allies, that they're confused as to where we want to go with this and what we're going to do and how we're going do do it. the same is true with isis, how we're going to handle that situation. where they're operating both in iraq and syria. so i'm not going to press you on those because you are just getting your feet on the ground and i hope the president-elect will be after you're able to get your arms around these things, he'll listen to you carefully as
to the policies we're going to develop for that. the policies need to be entirely different than what they are. and that part of the world, the sipping they understand strength. not necessarily the use of strength, but they understand people who possess strength and people who they are convinced will use that strength if necessary. they need to be convinced of that. and i know there's a lot of people complaining about the relationship between mr. putin and the president elect and for that matter yourself and mr. putin. i hope mr. putin gets to know both of you guys really really well, because i think he'll be convinced that you do project american strength and that america still has the muscle that it's had and that we still stand for what we stand for and
we're going to project that around the world. so in that regard, i really hope that mr. putin does have a relationship to where he gets to know both of you guys, especially the president elect, because i think that will impress him that he's not going to be able to get away with the kind of stuff that he's gotten away with in the crimea or syria or other places where they've been meddling in the world where they shouldn't be. finally, let me say again thank you for your willingness to do this. i've been impressed as we've been sitting here. the meeting we had in my office was very good and we were able to develop a lot of these thoughts more deeply than we can here. i want to say i'm really impressed from having come from a private sector background myself it's difficult for people to understand that the transition from the private sector of business into the world of diplomacy is very
different. it's a transition that needs to be made and just sitting here and listening to you over the hours that you have been here, i've been very impressed that you've been able to make that transition. you're speaking in terms that diplomats understand. i appreciate that. i think it will serve you well as you go forward. so again, thank you for your willingness to do this. >> that was the last person of the first round so we are going to get back into the synch we were in before. senator johnson. >> i want to go back to the responsibilities that the secretary laid out for the secretary of state. vice president negotiate agreements, represent us abroad and lead the state department. i met you the morning before i returned from my trip from isra israel from that shameful
dissension on that vote on settlements. i've never understood why any administration would force a friend, an ally, to sit down and negotiate with i guess negotiating partners that refuse to acknowledge the right to exist. that's the kind of table stakes. in business it's -- sitting down and forcing negotiation to buy a company and somebody doesn't want to sell it. do you have a similar type of view. i agree with you i think that complicates the future negotiation on that. >> well, i do have a view on it, senator, and thank you. it would be akin in many respects if you were negotiating with someone that denies your right to exist, you would have to question why would they ever live up to an agreement if they don't expect you to be around? it is already a complex negotiation and then to force one party to the table through coercion or however you want to describe the most recent resolution is not useful.
there have been many opportunities for parties to sit down and try to work things out and leadership certainly has not seized those opportunities. i would say in the case of the palestinian leadership while they've renounced violence, it's one thing to renounce and it's another thing to take concrete action to prevent it. until there's a serious demonstration on their part that they are willing to do more than just renounce the violence, they're willing to do something to at least interfere with it, it's going to be very difficult to create conditions at the table for parties to have any productive discussion around settlement. >> do you agree that israel has conceded just about every point and at this point the palestinians just refuse to say yes? >> i think there have been many opportunities for progress to be made and those have never been seized upon. so i do think it is a matter to
be discussed and decided between the two parties. to the extent america's foreign policy engagement can create a more fruitful environment for those discussions, i think that's the role we can play. this has to be settled between these two parties. >> our policies should help strength our frepiends. in terms of negotiating agreements, i think congress has given away its advice consent power. you look at the foreign affairs manual, i think the iranian agreement was a treaty. had we uphold that oath of office that vote should have been 100-1. every senator should have voted to support the constitution which starts with jealously guarding our power of advice and consent. do you believe that was a
treaty? >> it would have the appearances of a treaty. it looks like a treaty. >> what about the paris climate accord, do you believe that's a treaty? >> it kz llooks like a treaty. >> will you advise the president to respect the constitution and come to congress -- come to the senate for advice and consent on treaties. >> i respect the proper roles of both branches of government. in my conversations with the president elect he does as well and i think he's expressed some of these same views that under the past administration the executive branch has gone pretty far out there in terms of recognizing the proper role of congress as a body to express its own view on some of these agreements. >> leading the state department, you obviously were the ceo of a
functioning and successful organization, 75,000 employees the number was, but there are employees that have the same mission statement and they understand the roles to achieve the goals, they're supportive of the roles of the organization. you're going to be assuming the leadership of a department that let's face it in many cases you have entrenched bureaucrats that might be hostile to it. do you understand that challenge as experienced manager how are you going to react to that? >> you're right, senator, the state department had a little over 70,000 employees and interestingly about the same size of the organization that i led when i was at exxonmobil. about more than 40,000 of those state department employees are deployed overseas. 60% of exxonmobil's employees are not americans.
in terms of understanding and dealing with people who are representing you around the world and they're halfway around the world in various embassies and missions, how do you get all those people aligned with one objective? and the objective is america's interests and america's national security. so i think part of leadership is expressing very clear views and then part of leadership is having an organization that has clear line of sight on issues as to who owns these and who is going to be held accountable for them and having an organization that is all working in concert toward that objective. my experience has been that people -- people look for leadership and when they're acting in ways that are contrary to the overall mission it's generally because there's been an absence of strong leadership clearly defined to them as to what that expectation is and what their role is and then reward people who are behaving
in a way that supports the mission and not their own agenda. i've used the term many times of working in the general interest. the general interest of the state department is the american people's interests and if anyone is working in a way to advance their own interests, they're not working in the general interests. i think it's important that people understand that is the responsibility of all of us who will serve the country and the state department is the general interests, which is the american people's interests. >> thank you. good luck on your next assignment. >> thank you. i'm glad you came back after lunch, mr. tillerson. i appreciated very much your response to that question because i have to say my experience with state department employees is that the overwhelming majority of them are dedicated. they're dedicated to this country. they do their work often at great personal sacrifice and i
think we should appreciate the work that they do. it sounds so me like you share that appreciation for the sacrifices that they make. >> i most certainly do. i have great affection for those willing to take these overseas assignment and particularly when their families go with them they truly are sacrificing on behalf of this country and they deserve the recognition for thaten and e appreciation for it. >> thank you. there's been some discussion today about the concerns that this committee has expressed about -- which i think are legitimate, about potential conflicts of interest that you might face if con firmed as secretary of state because of your long career at exxon. while i understand there are concerns about the approach you've taken to diverse your interests in exxon, i appreciate
you have taken these actions and you plan to take more if you are confirmed. i wonder if you could talk about why you think that's important. >> well, senator, again as i commented in response to a question earlier, i had a great 41 1/2 year career. i was bless in hed and enjoyed minute of it. that part of my life is over. i am blessed to have an opportunity to serve my country. never thought i would have an opportunity to serve this way. when i made a decision to say yes to president elect trump when he asked me to do this, the first step i took was to obtain my own outside counsel and i said i must have a clear, complete and clean break with all of my connections to exxonmobil, not even the appearance. whatever is required for us to achieve that, get that in place. i am appreciative that the
exxonmobil corporation and the board were willing to work with me to achieve that as well. it was their objective too. in the end, if that required me to walk away from some things, that's fine. whatever was necessary to achieve that. again, i told people i don't want the appearance that there's any connection to myself and the future fortunes, up or down, of the exxonmobil corporation. >> well, again, thank you very much for that. i'm sad to say that i think it stands in stark contrast to what we heard from president elect trump today who announced he is not going to divest himself of his vast business interests around the world so i do appreciate your recognition this is important for maintaining the integrity of the position with the american public and the world. you talked about eliminating isis as one of your top priorities if you're confirmed. and your opening statement connects radical islam to isis
and you also make the point of saying that you think it's important to support muslims around the world who reject radical islam. during the last congress this committee heard about the importance of working with the muslim community in the united states to combat isis and the domest domestic terrorists that have been produced as a result of isis ideology. in your view, is it helpful to suggest that as americans we should be afraid of muslims? >> no, senator. in my travels and because of my past work, i've traveled extensively in muslim countries throughout southeast asia and have gained an appreciation and recognition of this great faith and that's why i made a distinction that we should support those muslim voices that reject this same radical islam
that we reject. this is part of winning the war other than on the battlefield. i mentioned we have to win it not just on the battlefield. we have to win the war of ideas and one of our greatest allies in this war is going to be the moderate voices of muslim, of the people of the muslim faith who speak from their perspective and their rejection of that representation of what is other wise a great faith. >> and so do you support restricting travel or immigration to the united states by muslims? >> i think what's important is that we are able to make a judgment about the people that are coming into the country and so, no, i do not support a blanket type rejection of any particular group of people, but clearly we have serious challenges to be able to vet people coming into the country and particularly under the current circumstances because of the instability and the parts of
the world that it's occurring and the massive migration that's occurred out of the region and a lack of any documentation following people as they have moved through various other countries. it's a huge challenge and i don't think we can close our eyes and ignore that. we have to be very clear about recognizing that threat and developing a means to deal with it. >> i agree with that, which is very different, i think, than a ban on an entire religion, people of that religion. do you support creating a national registry for american-muslims? >> i would need to have a lot more information around how such an approach would even be constructed. and if it were a tool for vetting, then it probably extends to other people as well, other groups that are threats to the u.s., but that's -- it would just require much more information around how that would be approached. >> and one of the things you and
i discussed when we met was the special immigrant visa program that we have maintained for the muslims that have helped the men and women in the military on the ground. will you support continuing that program to ensure those people who have been properly vetted who helped our men and women are able to come to this country when their lives are threaten had in in afghanistan? >> the special visa waver program, it's important that we protect those whose lives are truly at risk because of their efforts to assist our american military forces or other forces in afghanistan. i think it is also important to make the distinction, otherwise we undermine this program and risk losing it and not expand it to allow other people to come through the program that are not truly at risk. so it is -- i think it's the execution and this gets back to following through on what the
intent of these programs were and let's be very specific and execute well and not get sloppy in the execution and have a lot of other folks coming through the program that really don't meet that criteria. >> thank you. i think congress has narrowly focused the program. i appreciate that. >> thank you. i do want to say i appreciate the fact that you are able to highlight that the secretary of state shares those views and ultimately has to carry out the policies of the president or he's not successful, but it's good to distinguish that sometimes people have different views and they lobby for those views and we want to hear what mr. tillerson's views are on those issues and how he may attempt to sway the
administration, even though he may not be successful, but i thank you for highlighting that. >> thank you mr. tillerson for your patience and participation in this important discussion. i would follow up with many of the discussions today on human rights issues. i was notified that the administration has sanctioned two additional individuals in north korea under the legislation that we passed this past year, north korea sanctions acts. the younger sister of kim jong-un was sanctioned for humidity rights violations and the minister of state security. i appreciate your commitment to the mandatory sanctioning of people who carry out human rights violations. it's something we can do together and we should work together to protect people from t tyrants around the globe. china has been actively
reclaiming and building islands in the south china sea, 3,000 acres of land since 2015. they have militarized some of these reclamation areas. we authored legislation last year that called for the obama administration to take a very stronger and more aggressive approach to these activities in the south china sea including freedom of navigation operations over flights of the south china sea. the international tribune ov overruled that. >> when it comes to china and you mentioned north korea previous to this that we've got to take what i would call a whole of china government approach. i think part of where we struggle with china and i mentioned in my opening remarks,
we do have important economic relationships. our economies are intertwined, but we have to step back and look at all of china's activity . the island building in the south china sea, the declaration of control of airspace in waters over the islands with japan, both of those are illegal actions. they're taking territory or control or declaring control of territories that are not rightfully china's. the island building in the south china sea in many respects in my view building islands and putting military assets on those islands is akin to russia's taking of crimea. it's taking of territory that others lay claim to. the u.s. has never taken a side in the issue, but what we have advocated for is that's a disputed area and there are
international processes for dealing with that and china should respect those processes. some of their actions have been challenged at the courts and they were found to be in violation. so it is -- china's activity in this area is extremely worrisome and i think the failure of a response has allowed them just to keep pushing the envelope on this. so again we found we are where we are and we have to deal with it. the way we've got to deal with it is we've got to show back up in the region with our traditional allies in southeast asia and use existing structures to begin the reengagement. you got $5 trillion of economic trade goes through those waters every day and this is a threat to the entire global economy if china's allowed to somehow dictate the terms of passage through these waters. this is a global issue to our
allies and people in the region. >> you would support a more aggressive posture in the south china sea. >> we're going to have to send a signal that the island building stops and your access to those islands is also not going to be allowed. >> last year i passed legislation that would encourage taiwan's into interpoll. last sunday mainland chinese as a result of some of president trump's actions the global times said, if trump reneges on the one china policy after taking office the china people will call for revenge. they should also impose military pressure on taiwan and push it to the edge of being reunified by force. combined with the prc's exercise around taiwan it appears that
beijing has increased pressure considerably on taiwan. can you share with this committee the trump administration's position on taiwan and its position on the one china policy? >> i think with respect to taiwan we've made important commitments to taiwan through the taiwan relations act and the six issues accord and i think we should express a reafter mash of those. this is part of this approach that we've made commitments to people. we need to reaffirm those commitments and live up to those commitments and it's important that taiwan know we are going to live up to the commitments. that in and of itself is a message so i think the importance of that action to again this whole of china approach that i'm speaking about is we've got to deal the whole of china's actions and recognize that we have these balancing forces in our relationship that need to be dealt with.
>> in terms of one china policy, what is the new administration's position? >> i don't any of plans to alter the one china position. >> the issue back in colorado that is important that's coming to the attention of a lot of people around the country is they hear from ngos compassionate international f e faith based group in colorado have operated in colorado since 1968. they've contributed nearly $50 million in aid to india. they've provided one to one scholar ships for indian children but they have been the target of governmental attacks because of its christian belief, but it's been delivering humanitarian services to hundred of thousands of indian children, but they've been unable to fund the operation since february of
2016 despite having broken no laws. i believe the state department should take notice this ill treatment of compassionate international should stop. it's part of the pattern of india where other ngos have seen proble problems. we appreciate your assistance on that. this is a pattern that's very disturbing to an organization that does nothing more than try to help children in prooverty. >> i look forward to discussing it further with you. >> i appreciate you bringing it up. >> thank you, mr. chairman. mr. tillerson, in your capacity as ceo of exxonmobil, you
praised the paris agreement last year noting that addressing the climate change and i quote requires broad based practical solutions around the world. do you personally believe that the overall national interests of the united states are better served by staying in the paris agreement? if so, why? if not, why not? >> as i indicated earlier i think having a seat at the table to address this issue on a global basis, and it is important that i think it's 190 countries or thereabouts have signed on to begin to take action, i think we're better served by being at that table than leaving that table. >> and i think you understand that it's been a generation or more that it's taken to get all the countries at the table to sign an agreement, be willing to move forward with targets and it would be very unfortunate, i think to move away from the
table. so thank you for your answer there. i just wanted to follow up on a discussion senator flake had with you in the first round urging you to look at the successes of our policy change in cuba. this is mainly because you as a ceo at kexxon, i suspect you ha a low tolerance for old ideas that had failed to produce positive results. regardless of what one thinks about the cuban government, no one can argue that the positilif embargo and isolation has achieved any progress. the proof is in front of us. i'm a strong supporter of the policy of reengagement which has produced results and you mentioned you're going to do a bottom's up review. in thinking about that bottom's up review, i would point out that these things i'm going to mention have happened and are very positive.
we've worked with the cubans to combat diseases such as zika, diabetes and a multi-national effort to combat ebola in africa. efforts to increase access to the internet have paid off with new wi-fi hot spots in havana and increased efforts to bring improved cellular access to the island including roaming deals with u.s. carriers, increased bilateral business activity supported by the u.s. chamber of commerce and last week the united states and cuba signed a bilateral agreement to prepare for and respond to oil spills and hazardous substance pollution in the gulf of mexico and the straits of florida. our new policy towards cuba according to a 2015 research poll shows that 72% of americans support the renewed diplomatic relations and 73% support ending
the embargo. i doubt there are many issues where such a vast majority of the american people agree and i hope we will not be ledditting those americans down by returning to a period where such efforts are made impossible by a failed policy that showed no results. instead, i hope you will continue to work to support the cuban small business owner. almost 500,000 licensed businesses and growing and to continue the edge gaungagement has led to increased opportunities for both american and cuban businesses in cuba. will you recommend to president elect trump a policy of engagement with cuba in order to foster the change that is needed on the island or do you prefer to go back to the old policy of the past 50 years that failed to bring real change or undermine the castro regime? >> well, senator, again if confirmed, the job of the
diplomat is to engage and so engagement is always preferred and our door is always open to want to engage to effect change. but i think we have to be -- we have to be honest with ourselves about the engagement with cuba. there is long standing statutes in place that govern that relationship. the designated list of state sponsors of terrorism and there are specific criteria around whether we and organizations and those who are conducting affairs in cuba are in compliance with those statutory requirements. if we are able to engage in a positive way and still meet all of the compliance of those statutes, then that's a good thing. i don't know because i've not had the opportunity to have a folsom examination, as i said earlier, of what changed, because there's a lot of activity that's been enabled and
someone had to make a determination that something changed. did it in fact change? i'd like to see the information around that, otherwise if we're going to change the relationship, we've got to change those statutes as well. again, kind of this common theme maybe you're hearing from me is i believe we live up to the agreements and laws and we fully enforce them. they were put there for a reason. if circumstances change, then we need to change our posture on those as well. but that's the reason i think it demands a bottom's up review because a lot of things have been changed in recent years much by executive order and i think the president elect has indicated he'd like to understand all of that. what was the criteria that the state department used to make its determinations. that's what he's going to be asking me. >> well, the reason i cited those polls is i think the american people are at the point of wanting those statutes to be set aside and i quoted one and
so i don't want to argue with you, but i very much appreciate your answers in terms of consulting state department people and i can't think of better profession als than these state department professionals that spend decades learning about the regions that they serve in, the specific countries they work on and i appreciate your thoughtfulness in terms of doing that. and just a final question here as the senator mentioned we have a fugitive by the name of charlie hill who i believe should be brought to justice. i really believe that we have a better chance at getting him out. we're already having discussions if we engage with them rather than going back to a policy of isolation. with that, thank you very much. >> thank you. >> thank you. i will continue on the same theme for a bit. i want to talk about -- we hear
the word concession a lot and we shouldn't make concessions to dictators. part of the -- some of the executive orders that have been taken over the past couple of years that one of the first of which is in 2009 we found that cuban-americans who had family still in cuba would have to choose between going to their mother's funeral or their father's funeral if their parents died within the same three years. what a horrible thing to ask of an american. do you believe that it is a c concession to the regime. >> these are hard questions and i have to take us back to what are our statutes. what are the provisions that govern that. and these are the -- these are where exceptions become really
difficult. so i want to be honest with you when i say my expectation is if confirmed is to do a complete bottom's up review of all these issues. under what provisions are we making exceptions. what provisions allow for a waver. under what conditions can we grant perhaps an exception for someone to resolve these really -- these difficult personal issues for people, but not undermine our american values, which is the leadership of cuba must change the way it treats its people. >> i don't think it was the president's executive authority to make that change. i don't it was question. there was certainly no lawsuits filed or any real resistance as soon as cuban-americans started to travel back to cuba it was assumed this is a great thing and hundreds of thousands of them have and remitd more money.
it was illegal for them to send fish hooks to their family members on the island before. those are some of the restrictions that were removed. i would submit that those are not concessions to a regime. it's not a concession to a regime to allow americans to travel. those sanctions are on americans recollection n not cubans. we have diplomatic relations with some pretty unsavory countries or the leadership of some countries is pretty unsavo unsavory. we have diplomatic relations with zausaudi arabia. we don't agree with how they treat woman. is it a concession to the regime to have diplomatic relations with that country? >> this is grounded in long standing historic policy of the united states and that policy and the statutes that govern
that policy, if the time has come for statutes to be altered, that will be the role of congress to alter those statutes. in the meantime, at the state department, if i'm there and confirmed to be there, it's our role to enforce what congress has expressed is its desire. so if the judgment of the congress and the judgment of the state department, the president elect through consultation views that we have moved to a different place, then we should address that, but not just ignore what the law of the land is. >> right. i understand that completely. i'm just saying that diplomatic relations with countries is not a concession to those countries. it is in our national interests, it is the way we practice state craft and diplomacy is to have diplomatic relations and i would suggest that's the same with cuba. as mentioned there are fugitives
from cuba that we would like back and a number of other countries that we'd like back as well. we use our diplomatic relations. we use state craft and diplomacy to try to arrange those things. if we said to every country that held fugitives from justice we're going to withhold diplomatic relations and recall our embassadambassadors where w be. i believe a review will conclude that some of the measures that have been taken allowing americans to travel to cuba, we still have restrictions. i would suggestion that the restrictions that are still in place simply force americans to place more money in the government's hands when they do travel to cuba. cuban-americans and other citizens of this country that if we just lifted the travel ban completely and they could more easily ensure that more money
goes to family members and entrepreneurs on that island. i'm glad a review is going to take place and i'm glad that you're going to be part of that review. just in a minute and a half left, you've talked about sanctions. as i mentioned in the beginning i share your version to sanctions, particularly when they're practiced unilaterally. what other sanctions are simply a method we have or a tool to change behavior or to induce or to punish countries. what other tools do we have without resorting to sanctions? >> well, depending on exactly what the issue is and what the target country is, certainly we have other tools related to our trade policies in general. we have tools related to our immigration and visa exchange policies in particular. in terms