GOP Senator Marco Rubio May Be The Rex Tillerson Roadblock For Secretary Of State Confirmation

Marco Rubio was seen as the most moderate candidate that was seeking the republican nomination for president last year and he had fierce battles with Donald Trump on the debate stage. But since Marco Rubio dropped out of the GOP race last year, there has seemed to be a silent animosity between Rubio and Trump, and now he may just be using Rex Tillerson to get even.

Okay, so that isn’t the most likely case, but Marco Rubio really is the roadblock that is holding up the confirmation for Donald Trump’s Secretary of State pick, Rex Tillerson. Although Tillerson has plenty of roadblocks to worry about from the democrats and Bernie Sanders, he is also getting some slack from the republican establishment inside the Senate that aren’t likely to give any sway in what they expect out of Tillerson as Secretary of State.

It makes sense that Marco Rubio would take such a hard line with Rex Tillerson as well, given all of the scandals that have emerged involving Russia and the countless times that he and the republicans have tried to crucify Hillary Clinton over her e-mails and the Benghazi incident.

In this case, according to The Washington Post, Marco Rubio is drawing a line in the sand over the Russia incident(s). There is also precedent for Marco Rubio to be hot-headed on this issue. He repeatedly asked Rex Tillerson about Russia’s involvement in the bombing of Aleppo in Syria, which Rubio wanted Rex Tillerson to condemn those actions and call them a war crime.

“In order to have moral clarity, we need clarity. We can’t achieve moral clarity with rhetorical ambiguity,” Marco Rubio told Rex Tillerson.

“We need a secretary of state who will fight for these principles.”

Herein lies the dilemma for Rex Tillerson. As CEO of ExxonMobil, Tillerson has had a long-standing good relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia. It also seems likely that Donald Trump is trying to bow to Russia’s will in certain ways, with his refusal to accept the evidence that Russia hacked the U.S. election which subsequently got him elected president.

If Rex Tillerson were to testify before Congress and call Russia out for war crimes in Aleppo, then it could ruin whatever agenda he and Donald Trump may have in regards to Russia, whatever they may be. There have been some documented conflicts of interest on this, which includes those between Rex Tillerson himself as well as President Trump.

But Marco Rubio is not going to just let it slide. He is determined to get Rex Tillerson on record condemning Russia and accusing them of war crimes, or at least get him on record with making arbitrary statements that in some way furthers his agenda, which could lead to major fallout should he become Secretary of State and a scandal were to occur that involves Russia somehow.

You might be asking yourself if that is even likely to happen. Well, the short answer is yes. Russia has become a central theme to the post-election politics and the democrats are going to lean heavily on it. That means that any business that happens between Russia and the United States will be subject to intense scrutiny and interpretation.

More to the point, Marco Rubio is laying the groundwork for his opposition to Russia right now and possibly securing himself a seat at the next GOP nomination table for the presidential elections either in 2020 or 2024. Either way you look at this, Marco Rubio is doing some hard work in the beginning and it will likely pay off for him politically in the near future.

It is smart, but Marco Rubio will still have to navigate this Rex Tillerson issue with Donald Trump in the near future, which could mean that a feud is brewing between the two GOP politicians.

[Featured Image by Alex Wong/Getty Images]