The great big Rex Tillerson to-do list
Updated 2:33 PM ET, Thu February 2, 2017
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What's going on: The President's travel ban against refugees and people from seven majority-Muslim countries have led to wide-ranging consequences -- including for US citizens. Legal US residents couldn't get into the country. Iraqis who helped the US military were blocked. Businesses worry about losing overseas talent. And the President is facing dozens of lawsuits.
Why it's a big deal: If the travel ban debate doesn't get resolved soon, the fallout will keep growing. Even members of your own party disagree with this ban. And many question the real motive. If it's all about security, then why doesn't it include countries linked to recent terror attacks in the US?
What's going on: In his conversation with Australia's Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Trump slammed the Obama-era agreement to accept refugees, sources said. The conversation got testy. Afterward, Trump tweeted the agreement was a "dumb deal."
Why it's a big deal: Australia has been a longtime US ally, fighting alongside American troops around the world. Keeping good relations would be in both countries' best interest.
What's going on: Trump recently ordered the planning and construction of a 1,900-mile long wall along the southern border with Mexico, starting with federal funds for now.
Why it's a big deal: We're talking about what could be a $10 billion project here. While your boss has repeatedly said Mexico will pay for the wall, Mexico has repeatedly said it won't. So who'll foot the bill?
What's going on: The President tweeted that "Iran has been formally PUT ON NOTICE" after it test-fired a ballistic missile Sunday. But it's not entirely clear what he meant by that phrase.
Why it's a big deal: In 2015, Iran reached a milestone nuclear deal with the US and other countries. But President Trump has vowed to renegotiate it. Now the future of the deal is uncertain.
What's going on: More than 400,000 people have been killed in the six-year civil war, and ISIS has taken advantage of Syria's instability. Trump's travel ban blocks Syrian refugees from entering the US indefinitely.
Why it's a big deal: The Syrian crisis may be the biggest humanitarian disaster on the planet right now. The Obama White House supported moderate rebels fighting Assad's regime. Now it's up to this administration to lay out US' role.
What's going on: Before you were confirmed to be Secretary of State, many wondered whether your long-standing relations with Russia as ExxonMobil CEO would present a conflict of interest. After all, President Vladimir Putin has awarded you the Order of Friendship, one of Russia's highest honors for foreign citizens.
Why it's a big deal: As the nation's top diplomat, you're in a challenging role serving both the President -- who has openly admired Putin -- and the American people, many of whom view Putin as an adversary.