Trump's top diplomat had a secret email identity at Exxon
U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson used a secondary email address under the name of "Wayne Tracker" to send and receive information about climate change and other topics during his tenure at Exxon Mobil, according to the New York State Attorney General's office. It saved Tillerson from having to sift through large volumes of emails, he said, when writing about important business matters - including climate change - to select senior Exxon officials. The move failed to stop the investigation, however.
Exxon did not deny that Tillerson used the pseudonym, but said his communications under the name were not "exclusively climate related", according to the Journal.
Schneiderman's office had issued a subpoena for internal Exxon documents related to its investigation into the company's knowledge of climate change.
News of Tillerson's email account comes as the Trump administration weighs the future of the Paris climate deal, a major worldwide diplomatic effort to cut carbon emissions.
Naomi Ages, who heads Greenpeace's climate liability project, questioned whether Tillerson misled shareholders and the public on the risks posed by burning fossil fuels while-from the privacy of his Wayne Tracker account-he discussed those risks more plainly.
Exxon Mobil confirmed to Bloomberg that Tillerson did, indeed, use an account by the name of Wayne Tracker.
The letter also says there are "thirty-four additional email accounts specifically assigned to top executives, board members or their assistants", which were not initially produced in the investigation. His "Red Rufus" email account, a reference to his call sign as a Marine pilot, is still his primary email address, Lutz said Tuesday in an email. "ExxonMobil has been responsive to the attorney general's subpoena and has provided more than 2.5 million pages of documents".
Really, though, the Wayne Tracker incident isn't too surprising, given the confusing times we live in.
The company also said it "believes the risk of climate change is clear and warrants action".
Court-ordered documents from Exxon Mobil are proving that secret identities - or at least secret email identities - aren't only for comic book superheroes.
Exxon plans to respond to Schneiderman in a court filing within the next several days, Jeffers said.
"This is a significant development in Schneiderman's investigation into what Exxon knew about climate change, when it knew it, and what the company did to hide it", Ages said in a statement.