CABINET/REX TILLERSON/STATE: "Rex W. Tillerson on Wednesday told a Senate committee weighing his nomination as secretary of state that he would push back hard against President Vladimir V. Putin’s effort to expand Russian influence from Ukraine to Syria to cyberspace. But in a rocky all-day hearing, Mr. Tillerson also found himself on the defensive when it came to Exxon Mobil’s lobbying activities and his reluctance to declare that some dictators were violators of human rights. 'Rex Tillerson’s reluctance to acknowledge human rights abuses by Russia, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines raises serious questions about whether he can effectively serve as secretary of state,' the group said in a statement. 'Numerous independent observers, U.N. investigators, media, and humanitarian and human rights groups have published extensive and detailed reporting about the Russian government’s highly problematic domestic human rights record and war crimes in Syria,' and the killing in the Philippines of '6,200 suspected drug users in the last six months.' Mr. Tillerson said he simply had an engineer’s view of the need for evidence."
– “In Rocky Hearing, Rex Tillerson Tries to Separate From Trump,” The New York Times, Jan 11, 2017, David E. Sanger and Matt Flegenheimer, 1/11/2017