Trump Admin Threatens To Withdraw From UN Human Rights Council

Trump Admin Threatens To Withdraw From UN Human Rights Council

The State Department reportedly declined to confirm whether there would be any reporters on Tillerson's plane hours before the former Exxon Mobile Corp.

State Department spokesman Mark Toner told journalists this week that he would not get into details about the letter, first obtained by Foreign Policy. Past secretaries of state, both Republican and Democrat, have traditionally traveled with a small group of reporters.

The situation follows weeks of friction between Mr. Tillerson's office and journalists from other news outlets that more regularly cover the department, including the major news wires that report hourly on the secretary's official statements, meetings and movements.

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"We expect that the diplomatic press corps will be afforded access to Secretary Tillerson equal to that given to the reporter on the plane", the correspondents association said in its statement.

The website, the Independent Journal Review, said late Tuesday that IJR reporter Erin McPike is the lone journalist accompanying Tillerson to Japan, South Korea and China. Based on her interview with an unnamed "aide to the nation's top diplomat", who boasts that Tillerson frequently speaks with Trump on the phone, McPike decides that this is all Tillerson's "strategy to keep his head down while he sets out to make the State Department more efficient".

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". "To some degree, it's a cost-saving measure". An official explained that the delegation would be flying on a smaller plane than normal and that press access would be limited.

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

News organizations that travel with USA officials pay the US government for the cost of their air travel.

Or Tillerson will switch back to a plane that can accommodate the diplomatic press corps, suggesting that the decision with regard to the Asia trip was arbitrary, meant to send a message to journalists: Act more like McPike, and you, too, can have access to the secretary.

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IJR reports on a wide range of political and national news, specializing in short items with punchy headlines.

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