Tillerson Says State Department Spending 'Unsustainable'

The department had said that Tillerson would not take journalists with him as he was traveling on a small plane.

The current budget of the State Department exceeds $50 billion, but if the new budget is approved, it will be cut to $37.6 billion, of which $12 billion for operations in war-torn regions.

Tillerson, who became the top USA diplomat under Republican President Donald Trump in February, travelled to Mexico and Germany last month with a small contingent of journalists, including a "pool" reporter who informed colleagues of Tillerson's statements or actions. It said accommodations would be made for those who traveled commercially. They are expected to discuss Japan's plans to step up missile defense and the possible deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, as well as President Donald Trump's concerns about the United States trade imbalance with Japan, Reuters reported. It also said the decision to travel without reporters was meant to cut costs. This week, the White House announced plans to slash the State Department's budget - a move that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson inexplicably embraced, further demoralizing the department. The journalists who reported Tillerson's landing in Tokyo on Wednesday evening travelled there on commercial flights.

"After saying it was unable to accommodate press on the secretary's plane to Asia due to space and budget constraints, the State Department offered a unilateral seat to one reporter", the organization explained, "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".

Tillerson said he would conduct a "comprehensive examination" of how the State Department's programs are run and how the department is structured. Traveling overseas with a full contingent of reporters has been protocol for decades. I spent seven years traveling with Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for Bloomberg News and can vouch that the charges to newsrooms were colossal - upwards of $10,000 for a four-city trip to Asia.

Erin McPike of Independent Journal Review is in Asia with the secretary of state. Another founder, Phil Musser, was once executive director of the Republican Governors Association and worked in the Department of Housing and Urban Development in the administration of George W. Bush.

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