President-elect Donald Trump noted Wednesday that he’d been listening to the confirmation hearing of secretary of State nominee Rex Tillerson – and he enthused about what he’d heard from his choice to lead America’s relations with the world.
But after a full day of testimony before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, it was clear that Mr. Tillerson does not see eye-to-eye with the man who would be his boss on a number of top-of-the-agenda issues he’d be dealing with as the nation’s top diplomat.
Nuclear proliferation? Mr. Trump wants the US to build up its nuclear arsenal and has suggested Japan and South Korea should acquire their own nuclear weapons. “I don’t agree,” Tillerson said, adding that he would not advocate “more nuclear weapons on the planet.”
TPP? Tillerson said he does not oppose the vast Asia-Pacific trade deal that Trump repeatedly has rejected during the campaign.
Crimea and Ukraine? The nominee said he would have sent arms to Ukraine to fend off Russia’s aggression, and echoed the Western perspective that Russia’s seizure of the Crimean peninsula is illegitimate. Trump doesn’t criticize Russia over Ukraine and suggests he could accept Vladimir Putin’s Crimea grab.