Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) did not go easy on Rex Tillerson during his line of questioning at the secretary of state nominee's Senate confirmation hearing Wednesday morning. Nominated to lead the State Department by President-elect Donald Trump, Tillerson has been a contentious choice due to his links to Russian President Vladimir Putin — a point Rubio did not let drop lightly.
Tillerson might have seen it coming: Rubio has long been critical of the former ExxonMobil executive, who was awarded the Order of Friendship by Putin. "Being a 'friend of Vladimir' is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState," Rubio has previously tweeted.
He didn't go easy on Tillerson in person, either. "Are you aware that the people who oppose Putin end up dead?" Rubio asked at one point, to which Tillerson answered he did not, as he hadn't been briefed on such information. "None of this is classified, Mr. Tillerson," Rubio replied. "These people are dead."
In another particularly thorny attack, Rubio bluntly demanded to know, "Is Vladimir Putin a war criminal?" Tillerson replied: "I would not use that term."
"Well, let me describe the situation in Aleppo, [Syria], and perhaps that will help you reach that conclusion," Rubio shot back. Watch the ruthless exchange in full below. Jeva Lange