Donald Trump's secretary of state pick Rex Tillerson created a company with Russia using the Bahamas as a tax haven

What a shock! Yet another Trump appointee is way too close with the Russian government

By Matthew Rozsa

Staff Writer

Published December 19, 2016 1:38PM (EST)


Rex Tillerson, who if Donald Trump has his way will be America's next secretary of state, was for a long time the director of an American-Russian oil firm located in the tax haven of the Bahamas.

In 1998 Tillerson became the director of Exxon Neftegas, ExxonMobil's Russian subsidiary, according to documents leaked to The Guardian on Sunday. ExxonMobil said on Sunday that Tillerson stopped being a director of Exxon Neftegas in 2006, after becoming the company's CEO.

While there is nothing illegal or even unethical about Tillerson's involvement in Exxon Neftegas, it had not been reported prior to The Guardian's story.

The report adds to a number of reports suggesting that Tillerson has an all-too-cozy relationship with Russian business interests. During his tenure as CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson formed a partnership with the Russian oil company Rosneft, which is majority-owned by the Russian government. Russian dictator Vladimir Putin personally attended the signing of the deal in 2011.

Tillerson was also awarded the Russian Order of Friendship by Vladimir Putin in 2013 and has a close relationship to Igor Sechin, who is the head of Rosneft and widely considered to be the second most powerful figure in the Putin regime. The ExxonMobil-Rosneft deal was put on hold in 2014 after the Obama administration imposed sanctions on Russia for it's invasions of the Crimea and eastern Ukraine.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a professional writer whose work has appeared in multiple national media outlets since 2012 and exclusively at Salon since 2016. His diverse interests are reflected in his interview, including: President Jimmy Carter (1977-1981), Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak (1999-2001), animal scientist and autism activist Temple Grandin, inventor Ernő Rubik, comedian Bill Burr ("F Is for Family"), novelist James Patterson ("The President's Daughter"), epidemiologist Monica Gandhi, theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin, voice actor Rob Paulsen ("Animaniacs"), mRNA vaccine pioneer Katalin Karikó, philosopher of science Vinciane Despret, actor George Takei ("Star Trek"), climatologist Michael E. Mann, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (2013-present), dog cognition researcher Alexandra Horowitz, Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson (2012, 2016), comedian and writer Larry Charles ("Seinfeld"), Democratic vice presidential nominee Joe Lieberman (2000), Ambassador Michael McFaul (2012-2014), economist Richard Wolff, director Kevin Greutert ("Saw VI"), model Liskula Cohen, actor Rodger Bumpass ("SpongeBob Squarepants"), Senator John Hickenlooper (2021-present), Senator Martin Heinrich (2013-present), Egyptologist Richard Parkinson, Rep. Eric Swalwell (2013-present), media entrepreneur Dan Abrams, actor R. J. Mitte ("Breaking Bad"), theoretical physicist Avi Loeb, biologist and genomics entrepreneur William Haseltine, comedian David Cross ("Scary Movie 2"), linguistics consultant Paul Frommer ("Avatar"), Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (2007-2015), computer engineer and Internet co-inventor Leonard Kleinrock and right-wing insurrectionist Roger Stone.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Donald Trump Rex Tillerson Russia Vladimir Putin