Speed Reads

Trump Transition

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

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.

Some of Trump's other claims were slightly dubious, like his assertion that "they've just announced we're going to have record crowds coming" to his inauguration, including "the Bikers for Trump." "Boy, they had a scene today — I don't know if I'd want to ride one of those, but they do like me," Trump said. "They had a scene today where they had helicopters flying over a highway someplace in this country, and they had thousands of those guys coming into town."

Trump had made a similar claim on Twitter earlier Tuesday, and while the Bikers for Trump group has applied for a permit for 5,000 bikers to gather at a Washington park on Inauguration Day, the permit has not been issued yet, according to the National Parks Service. Also, those images and video of the bikers streaming into town shared on social media appear to be at least several months old and from elsewhere in the country.