Exxon Mobil CEO and President-elect Donald Trump's nominee for Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, will talk tough against the Russian government in his opening remarks before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Wednesday.
According to a copy of his prepared opening testimony, Tillerson will outline an America-first foreign policy in “a pivotal time in both the history of our nation and our world.”
The Washington Examiner first reported the themes and excerpts from Tillerson's opening remarks.
Tillerson will note that Russian interference in the U.S. presidential campaigns through cyberterrorism remains a constant threat that must be addressed.
“While Russia seeks respect and relevance on the global stage, its recent activities have disregarded American interests.”
Tillerson's prepared testimony continues in his criticisms of Russia, noting their invasion of Ukraine and aid of the brutal Assad government in Syria.
Russia's repositioning of itself as a world power and foe of the United States is the fault of President Barack Obama's policies over the past eight years, according to Tillerson, who will say:
"We sent weak or mixed signals with 'red lines' that turned into green lights. We did not recognize that Russia does not think like we do.
Tillerson will also draw a line between mainstream Islam and radical jihadism, calling it a perversion of the religion.
“Radical Islam is not a new ideology, but it is hateful, deadly, and an illegitimate expression of the Islamic faith,” Tillerson's prepared remarks note. “Adversaries like Iran and North Korea pose grave threats to the world because of their refusal to conform to international norms.”
Tillerson will also outline his view of how the U.S. can reassert itself on the world stage, saying that “we will never apologize for who we are or what we hold dear.”
“To achieve the stability that is foundational to peace and security in the 21st century, American leadership must not only be renewed, it must be asserted,” Tillerson will say.