Trump's SecState pick decorated by Vladimir Putin

ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, Trump's reported pick for secretary of state, isn't just friendly with Russia, with which he has negotiated oil and gas deals over the years.  He's actually close to Vladimir Putin, who personally gave Tillerson a Russian medal.

Above is a photo of Vladimir Putin giving Tillerson Russia's "Order of Friendship" medal.  If Russia were still officially a communist country run by a similarly named Vladimir, the medal would probably have only a slightly different name.

We should not have a secretary of state who is so close to one of our adversaries that he accepted a medal from it.  And make no mistake: Russia is an adversary.  We may cooperate with them in Syria or on some issues, but it was Russia that

1) invaded Crimea,

2) occupies a chunk of eastern Ukraine,

3) gave Iran the means to create nuclear weapons,

4) put more nuclear weapons on the border with Eastern Europe, and

5) regularly buzzes our planes and ships.

Russia is not an ally, and that is why Tillerson should not be appointed.  His qualifications for the job are a mystery.  The biggest current job of the secretary of state is rallying countries against Islamic extremism; Tillerson has no experience in this area.  He is also going to have to go toe to toe with China and Russia, diplomatic brinkmanship with which he also has nothing to draw on.  Tillerson is a deal maker, but that is not the kind of secretary of state we need now, even if John Bolton were picked as his deputy.

Trump has interviewed not only Tillerson for the job, but also Mitt Romney, who is too liberal, and Bob Corker, who conspired with Obama to help him enforce his Iran deal without a treaty verification vote in the Senate.  His choice of interviewees, apart from John Bolton, has been uniformly outrageous.

It seems that except for national security posts, big business like Goldman Sachs and ExxonMobil as well as RNC insiders like Reince Priebus and Cathy McMorris Rodgers ( score: 41%) are getting the best jobs in the executive branch.  And for people who say to wait and see what Trump actually does as president, just remember that personnel is policy, especially for a vacillating president-elect who changes his mind on a frequent basis.

Ed Straker is the senior writer at