Reminder: Exxon, #Carbonbubble, at Center of #Russiagate

August 2, 2017

ABC News:

Neither President Donald Trump nor Secretary of State Rex Tillerson are fans of the new congressional sanctions on Russia, particularly because they may hinder attempts at restoring the relationship between the two countries, the top U.S. diplomat admitted Tuesday.

“The action by the Congress to put these sanctions in place and the way they did, neither the President nor I were very happy about that,” Tillerson told reporters in the State Department briefing room. “We were clear that we didn’t think it was going to be helpful to our efforts, but that’s the decision they made, they made it in a very overwhelming way. I think the president accepts that.


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is resisting the pleas of State Department officials to spend nearly $80 million allocated by Congress for fighting terrorist propaganda and Russian disinformation.

It is highly unusual for a Cabinet secretary to turn down money for his department. But more than five months into his tenure, Tillerson has not issued a simple request for the money earmarked for the State Department’s Global Engagement Center, $60 million of which is now parked at the Pentagon. Another$19.8 million sits untouched at the State Department as Tillerson’s aides reject calls from career diplomats and members of Congress to put the money to work against America’s adversaries.

The struggle over the money is a case study in Tillerson’s approach to managing the State Department and the frustration it is engendering among American diplomats. Current and former U.S. officials call it the latest example of a severe slowdown in department decision-making; of Tillerson’s reliance on a coterie of political aides who distrust State’s career staffers; and a casualty of President Donald Trump’s intention to slash State’s budget, which has Tillerson looking for ways to reshape the department and spend less money, not more.

Sources cited another sensitive factor at play: Russia. One Tillerson aide, R.C. Hammond, suggested the money is unwelcome because any extra funding for programs to counter Russian media influence would anger Moscow, according to a former senior State Department official.

One Response to “Reminder: Exxon, #Carbonbubble, at Center of #Russiagate”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    And the beat goes on…..

    WOW on the piece from Rachel, who should someday be awarded a medal for her reporting. That clip should be entered as evidence in all the investigations and hearings about Trump et al colluding with Russia. In the words of the Orange Dumpster, this business about Exxon and Tillerson and Russia is HUUUGE and VERY VERY significant. Goes well with the recent “Above the Law? Exxon, under Tillerson, Cited for Russian Contracts” post—-more nails in the coffin.

    (And I can’t help being snide and commenting on the physical appearance of Putin’s “best friend” —-here we have a weasel and a badger getting along—-in the real world the badger would be eating the weasel—-greed and desire for power trumps all, I guess).

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