Secretary of State Rex Tillerson does not intend to have frequent bull sessions with press aboard his plane while in office, The Independent Journal Review reports.
The U.S. diplomatic press corps was deeply angered when the Department of State announced it did not intend on bringing any members of the press corps aboard the secretary’s aircraft. “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 said in a statement.
Tillerson defended his action, saying, “There’s this long tradition that the Secretary spends time on the plane with the press. I don’t know that I’ll do a lot of that. I’m just not … that’s not the way I tend to work. That’s not the way I tend to spend my time. I spend my time working on this airplane.”
Many major news outlets already have bureau offices in the countries he is visiting, Tillerson continued. “They have bureau offices. They have people there. So it’s not like they can’t cover what’s happening there. The only thing that’s missing is the chance to talk more in the air,” Tillerson explained.
“I’m not a big media press access person. I personally don’t need it. I understand it’s important to get the message of what we’re doing out, but I also think there’s only a purpose in getting the message out when there’s something to be done,” he continued.
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