Appearing as a guest on Sunday's AM Joy on MSNBC to discuss ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson's selection to be Donald Trump's Secretary of State, allegedly right-leaning Washington Post columnist Jennifer Rubin derided the cabinet picks as "ignoramuses, billionaires, and a few generals," and fretted that it was "pretty frightful stuff."
At 11:10 a.m. ET, host Joy Reid turned to Rubin and wondered about Tillerson's history of skepticism about global warming:
Exxon is one of, if not the company that has been the most egregious in terms of denying the existence of climate change. They have an economic interest in pretending climate change doesn't exist, though they've had the records on it since the 1970s. Talk a little about the implications of that because we do know that the Defense Department is preparing for the implications of climate change. It's a huge deal if the State Department is run by somebody who just doesn't believe in it.
Rubin began by likening ExxonMobil to tobacco companies that denied the dangers of cigarette smoking:
There's been a lot of litigation, a lot of attention focused on what many people have accused Exxon of doing, which is essentially what the cigarette companies did. They had the research, they put out misinformation, they denied it. Rex Tillerson now says he believes, he's got it. The question is, did he believe it back when Exxon was putting out information? Or was he part of that scheme? So I think there's a lot of questions to be asked about Exxon's behavior. And this is why it also doesn't make sense to nominate him because we're going to have a long exploration of his views, of Exxon's views, of Exxon's behavior.
She then began fretting over the experience levels of some of Trump's picks:
And I would just add, I wish I could say that Ben Carson was the only person who didn't have experience in his area, but, as he mentioned, Tillerson, we also have Terry Branstad, who is ambassador to China. He's been the governor of Iowa. We have -- and I like her, I think she's smart, Nikki Haley, terrific person -- but she's going to the UN. Does she have any foreign policy experience?
The Washington Post columnist ended up worrying:
So I think what we have are ignoramuses, billionaires and a few generals. And in that mix, with the exception of Michael Flynn, the generals are clearly the best ones there. But this is pretty frightful stuff. You have loads of people who have never been in government who don't understand the difference between business and government, and frankly are sort of the cast of characters that Donald Trump ran against. Don't we have a little over-representation of Goldman Sachs here? I mean, do they really need three people? Isn't one enough?