Donald Trump recaps Rex Tillerson's career for foreign diplomats: 'He goes into a country, takes the oil'

Donald Trump addresses diplomats, donors before inauguration
(Image credit: AP/YouTube)

On Tuesday, President-elect Donald Trump flew down to Washington, D.C., to attend his first Inauguration Week event in the nation's capital, a black-tie dinner to honor his longtime friend and inauguration committee chairman, Tom Barrack. Trump and Vice President-elect Mike Pence both addressed the roughly 150 foreign diplomats and ambassadors, wealthy donors, and future members of his staff and Cabinet, with Pence assuring the diplomats that while Trump "will be a president who puts America first," his teams shares "a commitment to engage with all of the world."

Trump agreed, saying, "We have great respect for your countries," then lauded his own choice of Pence as running mate, even though he "had a couple of beauties I could have picked" instead. He went on to say he's proud of his Cabinet picks, asserting, "We have put together a team, I think the likes of which has never been assembled." And because he was speaking to diplomats, he singled out his pick for secretary of state, former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson. The confirmation process has been "tougher than he thought," Trump said. "He's led this charmed life. He goes into a country, takes the oil, goes into another country. It's tough dealing with these politicians, right?" The crowd laughed.

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Peter Weber, The Week US

Peter has worked as a news and culture writer and editor at The Week since the site's launch in 2008. He covers politics, world affairs, religion and cultural currents. His journalism career began as a copy editor at a financial newswire and has included editorial positions at The New York Times Magazine, Facts on File, and Oregon State University.