Flying Soft

Private Empire by Steve Coll is the book to read about our curious, NATO-avoiding new Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. It covers his time as the leader of Exxon Mobil. In The New Yorker, in the first thing I’ve seen from Coll on Tillerson in his new job, he suggests not taking journalists on Tillerson’s Asia trip may have been because he has gone a touch soft. As Exxon C.E.O.:

When Tillerson travelled, he rarely flew commercial. The corporation’s aviation-services division maintained a fleet of Gulfstream and Bombardier corporate jets at Dallas Love Field Airport, a short drive away. Whether Tillerson was flying to Washington, Abuja, Abu Dhabi, or Jakarta, he would typically be driven in a sedan to a waiting jet. He boarded with a meticulously outlined trip schedule and briefing books. He worked and slept aboard in private comfort, undisturbed by strangers, attended by corporate flight attendants.

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