Gard­ner must re­ject Tiller­son

The Denver Post - - OPINION - Bradley Bruchs,

The U.S. in­tel­li­gence com­mu­nity has stated that Rus­sia in­ter­fered with our free and demo­cratic elec­tions, and last week Don­ald Trump ap­pointed ExxonMo­bil CEO Rex Tiller­son to be sec­re­tary of state. Tiller­son is a friend of Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin and was awarded the Rus­sian Or­der of Friend­ship medal by Putin for his work on the Exxon joint ven­ture with the state-owned Rus­sian oil com­pany Ros­neft.

The sec­re­tary of state must work to pro­tect the in­ter­ests of the United States and not those of any com­pany or for­eign coun­try. How­ever, at every in­ter­ac­tion with Rus­sia Tiller­son will be ques­tioned on whose in­ter­ests he is pro­tect­ing.

If Tiller­son is con­firmed, we will have a friend of Putin as sec­re­tary of state, and a “yes” vote by Sen. Cory Gard­ner should be in­ter­preted by the peo­ple of Colorado as a vote in sup­port of Rus­sia and Rus­sian in­ter­ests. Gard­ner should vote “no” on Tiller­son’s con­fir­ma­tion in the For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee and on the Se­nate floor.

Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin shakes hands with ExxonMo­bil CEO Rex Tiller­son on June 15, 2012. RIA-Novosti/Pool

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