I’ll keep this short and factual so it won’t be viewed as a “hit piece,” because it’s nothing of the sort. The questions need to be asked, and not just by propagandists on the left.
The latest about Rex Tillerson’s connections to Moscow comes from the Guardian, a center-left British publication: Leak reveals Rex Tillerson was director of Bahamas-based US-Russian oil company. Since his name started getting some attention as Donald Trump’s potential Secretary of State, story after story popped up showing how favorably he views Russia. Perhaps more concerning is that Russia seems to really like Tillerson as well.
In isolation, these stories wouldn’t really be too concerning. Combined with the investigations into former Trump campaign manager Paul Manfort’s connections to Russia and we start to see a trend. Add in a multitude of other direct and indirect connections the President-elect has with Russia and suddenly everyone, including the GOP, should be asking questions.
Conservative press is not. In fact, I had a hard time finding these stories anywhere other than mainstream media sites (I hate having to link to Time.com). This is not the time to pick sides. We should all expect more from the right-wing side of the news.
Whether the hack and leaks of Democrats were perpetrated by Russia is still up for debate. If they were, it seems pretty clear they were doing it to influence the election in Trump’s favor. Again, this would be of no concern if Trump didn’t have a history with them, not to mention ongoing actions that seem to favor Russia.
Here’s the bottom line: either Trump chose not to play politics at all with his Secretary of State pick and selected the most qualified and ideologically aligned candidate in Tillerson, or he truly does favor, at the very least, forging a strong relationship with Russia. It’s not possible, given his history and the allegations pertaining to Russia, that he would select Tillerson otherwise. It’s a poor political move that only strengthens the left’s case that Russia didn’t just influence the election but that they’re influencing Trump as well.
Charles Krauthammer agrees:
Support for Trump from conservative press is one thing. Willfully sticking our heads in the sand is another. Whether we’re fans of the President-elect or not, it does not behoove us to disregard the mounting number of “peculiarities” in Trump’s pro-Russian stance. If I had to lay odds, I would say that it’s more likely that Trump wants to be friendly with Russia but there is no direct influence. That narrative still jibes with the facts and even most of the innuendos. However, nobody can say it for certain and conservative media seems unwilling to investigate.
I’m not making accusations against Trump, Tillerson, the GOP, or conservative press. I’m simply suggesting that we can’t allow political alignment to prevent us from seeking the truth. Before blindly defending Trump, conservative journalists and politicians should be looking more closely into the Trump-Russia ties, or at least the Tillerson-Russia ties. There is enough circumstantial evidence to get our attention. The question is whether we’ll actually pay attention or not.