Only One Reporter Traveling With Tillerson on Asia Trip

The president is suddenly press-shy

A reporter from the conservative-leaning Independent Journal Review got the lone press seat on top USA diplomat Rex Tillerson's plane for his three-stop Asia trip, with the State Department shutting out other media from traveling with him.

"The invitation is a testament to McPike's tenacious, detailed brand of reporting", Skatell said.

"The level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking, in particular this past year, is simply not sustainable", Tillerson said."As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the USA will be directly engaged in".

The United States will also reduce spending by attracting funds from other countries and "other sources" to contribute to development aid and disaster assistance, Tillerson said.

It is very unusual that a Cabinet member would be so willing to defend a budget proposal that starves his department of resources, but the more striking thing about this defense is that the arguments Tillerson uses make no sense. The trip is taking place amid escalating tensions with North Korea.


The State Department earlier said Tillerson, who arrives in Japan late Wednesday, wouldn't take reporters with him because he was traveling on a small plane, drawing protests from the department's correspondents association. It also said the decision to travel without reporters was meant to cut costs. "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 conservative-leaning IJR said in a statement late on Tuesday that the State Department last week offered the seat on Tillerson's plane.

"I take the challenge that the president has given us on willingly", he said.

McPike is a White House correspondent for IJR, and previously reported for CNN, Real Clear Politics, NBC News, and National Journal, according to IJR's website when she joined in February. In 2014, Skatell told The New York Times he wanted to start a site after observing a gap in reaching "a more mainstream centre-right audience".

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