State Department Can’t Explain Who Decided to Block Reporters from Tillerson’s Asia Trip

As Rex Tillerson is coming under fire for refusing to take U.S. press with him on his first trip to Asia, the State Department is now offering conflicting explanations. Yesterday, State department spokesman Mark Toner said it was Tillerson’s decision to abandon the State Department press corp, but today Toner reversed himself and said Tillerson doesn’t make decisions on “that level.” American Bridge spokesperson Sabrina Singh released the following statement in response:

“Either Rex Tillerson decided to block American reporters from traveling with him or he didn’t – which is it? Denying press access is denying Americans transparency; the public deserves to know how our chief diplomat plans to address North Korea’s threats to the region’s stability, especially when you consider the national security consequences.

“Tillerson isn’t even two months into the job and he’s already stealing from the Putin playbook. Denying Americans transparency and accountability cannot continue.”

Yesterday “And, you know, this is the Secretary’s decision, to travel with a smaller footprint.”

Today: “The Secretary is obviously aware of the decision, but as probably know, he doesn’t necessarily make that level of decision.”