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>> To achieve the stability that is foundational to peace and security in the 21st century, American leadership must not only be renewed, it must be asserted.>> I'm Andy Sullivan in Washington where ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson has his moment before the Senate on Wednesday in his bid to become Secretary of State.
As head of the world's largest oil company, Tillerson has plenty of experience rubbing shoulders with global leaders, and that's proving to be a double edged sword.>> Our NATO allies are right to be alarmed at a resurgent Russia.>> Senators probing Tillerson's close business ties to Putin over the years as they worked on Russian oil projects.
This after classified documents presented last week to Trump and President Obama, included allegations that Russian operatives claimed to have compromising information about the President-Elect. The allegations added to a report on Russian meddling in the 2016 elections delivered by America's top intelligence officials on Friday.>> Russia today poses a danger, but it is not unpredictable in advancing its own interest.
It has invaded the Ukraine, including the taking of Crimea, and supported Syrian forces that brutally violates the laws of war.>> These comments in shock contrast to Trump's who has often praised Putin publicly and says he wants warmer ties between the US and Russia.>> We did not recognize that Russia does not think like we do.
Words alone do not sweep away an uneven and at times contentious history between our two nations, but we need an open and frank dialogue with Russia regarding its ambitions. So we know how to chart our own course.>> Tillerson has received a national award from Putin, who according to US intelligence, directed the hacking effort to tilt last year's election to Trump.
Republican and Democratic lawmakers planning to investigate further, with many calling for tighter Russian sanctions. The betting is on Tillerson to get the confirmation. He's got the backing of foreign policy elders like former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And he is seen as less of a wild card than some others that Trump considered for the post like Rudy Giuliani or John Bolton.
There's a saying in the industry that you go where the oil is and you manage the politics around it. Tillerson now has to convince lawmakers that those days are over for him and he is ready to put American interest first.