Trump's Secretary of State pick, Rex Tillerson, has personal relationship with Vladimir Putin
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President-elect Donald J. Trump will soon hold the power of the White House. Any comment on "What Will Trump Do," depends on which Trump emerges to exercise that power once he is inaugurated.
There is the scripted Trump who does on occasion emerge with a largely-overlooked comment like his recent promise that the time for military Western-managed regime change in the Middle East is over.
That scripted Trump is running contrary to the American neocons who want to control the world in the "best interest" of the American empire. In a Wall Street Journal report, Trump appeared to signal: No more foolish neocon-inspired attacks on countries like Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria.
As the Journal noted, Trump was quite specific when he said, "We will stop looking to topple regimes and overthrow governments, folks."
His call for no more regime change through military power, was largely ignored by other media outlets. If Trump holds to that position, he would launch a major shift in American foreign policy.
Will the anti-regime change Trump emerge when unexpected events explode in the Middle East? Or was regime change just his thought for that particular day?
In addition to the scripted Trump, there is the business-tycoon Trump, the man raised from childhood to view the world as an economic playing field on which to win profits by planting the Trump brand (now the Trump-U.S. brand) through economic power.
It was the business-tycoon Trump who chose ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State. The Washington Post looked for an answer to how the decision was reached.
ExxonMobil has a relationship with the consultancy firm run by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, two influential government figures who consulted with the president-elect in Trump Tower after he had spent days entertaining familiar political names like Mitt Romney, Rudolph W. Giuliani, and Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.)
Rice and Gates knew how important the Russian oil industry was to ExxonMobil. Tillerson had become close to Russian leader Vladimir Putin, finally developing an agreement for ExxonMobile to provide the oil drilling muscle for Russia to tap into its rich oil resources in the Arctic Sea.
The two men, Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (right) and ExxonMobil President and CEO Rex Tillerson, are shown above talking during the signing of a Rosneft-ExxonMobil strategic partnership agreement in Sochi, Russia, on Aug. 30, 2011.
That agreement was suddenly put on hold when the U.S. responded to Russia's military intervention in Ukraine, which began in late February 2014.
That prompted a number of governments, including the U.S., the European Union and other countries and international organizations to apply sanctions against individuals, businesses and officials from Russia and Ukraine.
These sanctions blocked the Rosneft-ExxonMobil strategic partnership agreement. To make his case to ease the sanctions, Tillerson held several meetings with President Obama, arguing that U.S. companies like ExxonMobil were at a disadvantage in competition with European countries more willing to work around the sanctions.