We turn now to take a broader look at U.S.-Russian relations in the wake of Donald Trump’s election. On Tuesday, Trump officially nominated Rex Tillerson, chair and CEO of ExxonMobil, to be secretary of state. Tillerson is known to have close ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, who awarded Tillerson the country’s Order of Friendship decoration in 2013. One of the focuses of the Senate confirmation hearings will be Exxon’s $500 billion oil exploration partnership with the Russian government’s oil company, Rosneft. Considered the largest oil deal in history, the partnership can only go through if the U.S. lifts sanctions against Russia, which the Obama administration imposed over Russia’s intervention in Ukraine.
The news of Rex Tillerson’s nomination came just days after the CIA accused Russia of meddling in the U.S. election to help Donald Trump win. Trump has rejected the CIA’s conclusion, decrying it as "ridiculous." But President Obama ordered a review of Russia’s role in influencing the presidential election. With us are Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch, and Stephen Cohen, professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University.
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