Much of the confirmation hearing for US Secretary of State (chaired by Senator Corker) proceeded in a manner most would expect; as a mixture of serious and relevant questions combined with politically crafted questions to place Tillerson (or anyone else) in a “no win” situation.
The worst offender of the morning was Senator Marco Rubio. He was belligerent and unyielding in pushing an absurd line of questioning.
In regards to Russian hacking and influencing our elections, Rubio asked, “Based on your knowledge of Russian leaders and Russians politics, do you believe these activities could have happened without the knowledge and consent of Vladimir Putin?”
Tillerson didn’t want to speculate but Rubio pushed it.
Rubio then wanted an answer on the mandatory imposing of sanctions on a nation conducting cyber-attacks against the US. Tillerson didn’t want “mandatory” and made it very clear that what Rubio is proposing doesn’t take multiple factors into consideration. Rubio then attempted to put words in Tillerson’s mouth, rudely implying that Tillerson and Trump wanted the latitude to play favorites.
The scenario Rubio was painting would be similar to stating; “We should impose a mandatory 10-year jail sentence on everyone who steals.” Not taking into account the difference between a child taking a piece of candy or an adult stealing a car and/or if anyone was physically harmed during the course of the crime. It was an unimaginably immature line of questioning to be coming from a US Senator.
Marco Rubio then pushed to have Tillerson label Putin as a “war criminal.” For Rubio to think it is appropriate to force someone (anyone) in a position to be Secretary of State to make public statements labeling world leaders as “war criminals” before they even assume their position is nothing short of an act of sabotage.
Tillerson conducted himself as an adult where Marco Rubio came across as a bitter little child.
Committee Chair, Senator Corker, did a good job of injecting a couple of times to help recraft bad questions into better ones.