Maryland’s Cardin won’t support Tillerson for sec’y of state

Sen. Ben Cardin, D-Md., ranking member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questions Secretary of State-designate Rex Tillerson during Tillerson's confirmation hearing before the committee, Wednesday, Jan. 11, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Steve Helber)

WASHINGTON (AP) – The top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee says he can’t support President Donald Trump’s nominee for secretary of state.

Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland says in a statement that Rex Tillerson’s business orientation and confirmation hearing answers could compromise his ability to forcefully promote U.S. values and ideals.

Specifically, Cardin said he based his opposition on Tillerson’s unwillingness to call Russia and Syria’s atrocities “war crimes,” or to describe Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s extrajudicial killings as gross human rights violations.

Cardin also said the former Exxon Mobil CEO misled the committee about the company’s lobbying against sanctions, such as penalties against Russia for its annexation of Crimea.

The Foreign Relations Committee is scheduled to vote on Tillerson’s nomination on Monday afternoon.

 

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