Tillerson To Cut Teeth With First Trip To Volatile E

Francis Osborne
March 16, 2017

"We may not share a common view on this, given the makeup of the membership", he wrote, as quoted in the report. "We could not accommodate press", Toner told reporters.

Last week, the State Department announced that Tillerson would not allow the press to travel with him on his government plane during his trip to Japan, South Korea, and China, an extremely unusual step that will reportedly make it "exceedingly hard, if not impossible" for journalists to cover the proceedings.

"We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognize the controversy surrounding press access for the trip", IJR founder and chief executive Alex Skatell said in the statement, adding that Ms. McPike had previously been "persistent in requesting an interview with Secretary Tillerson".

The travel offer came from the State Department, and "after editorial consultation, McPike accepted the seat", he said.

McPike, the IJR reporter, is traveling unilaterally and is not a pool reporter.

The State Department Correspondents Association, which represents reporters who cover US diplomacy, said in a statement that it was "disappointed" Tillerson chose to travel to Asia without a full contingent of media "or even a pool reporter".

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According to the State Department's Toner, the agency wanted to "take a journalist from an outlet that doesn't normally travel with the Secretary of State, as part of an effort to include a broader representation of USA media". An official explained that the delegation would be flying on a smaller plane than normal and that press access would be limited.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner told journalists this week that he would not get into details about the letter, first obtained by Foreign Policy.

"Several of our members have traveled commercially to meet Secretary Tillerson on the ground in Asia".

The secretary has not been as press-friendly as his predecessor, John Kerry.

The State Department reportedly declined to confirm whether there would be any reporters on Tillerson's plane hours before the former Exxon Mobile Corp. News organizations pay for the cost of the reporters' travel.

Instead, Tillerson invited a single reporter from a startup news site with a conservative bent.

Other reports by TheDailyFarc

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