Tillerson shuns all but conservative website on Asia tour
Mar 20 2017
The website, the Independent Journal Review, said late Tuesday that IJR reporter Erin McPike is the lone journalist traveling with Tillerson on his tour to Japan, South Korea and China.
Trump's budget proposal for the fiscal year beginning on October 1 would cut 28 percent of the budget for USA diplomacy and foreign aid, according to documents provided by the White House.
It's not unusual for a new White House to present a "skinny budget" - a spending wish list for Congress and some basic economic projections - but Trump's first one takes it to an anemic level.
"After saying it was unable to accommodate press on the secretary's plane to Asia due to space and budget constraints, the State Department offered a unilateral seat to one reporter", the organization explained, "The State Department Correspondents' Association is disappointed that Secretary Tillerson chose to travel this week to North Asia without a full contingent of the diplomatic press corps or even a pool reporter".
The group has been in talks with Tillerson's deputies "about a variety of issues related to media access", the statement said, "and we welcome the State Department's pledge to address our concerns in the very near future".
"A key component of foreign policy is being undercut by this", she added".
While McPike is the only reporter actually accompanying Tillerson on the plane, reporters who traveled to Asia on standard commercial flights will reportedly be provided access to the secretary of state.
He has not held a single news conference and never answers questions that reporters shout out when he is posing for photo ops with foreign counterparts.
On Thursday in Tokyo, Tillerson said the State Department's current spending is "simply not sustainable", and accepted the "challenge" Trump had given in proposing to cut more than a quarter of his agency's budget.
She wrote a story two weeks ago about Tillerson's strategy to "keep his head down while he sets out to make the State Department more efficient". The combined budget for the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) would be $25.6 billion.
The president's proposal would cut 28 percent of the budget for USA diplomacy and foreign aid, Reuters reported.