Trump’s State Secretary Rex Tillerson recently accompanied Trump to Saudi Arabia where he held a press conference. However, he mysteriously failed to invite American journalists to the event. Sources said the White House press pool confirmed the Riyadh press conference was held with no U.S. reporter present.
Trump Administration’s Excuse
The State Department explained the reason for the exclusion. According to spokesman R.C. Hammond, Tillerson’s staff had “not enough time to alert or make arrangements for U.S. media to participate.” Hammond underlined that in different conditions, the U.S. poll would have been invited.
As a result, the U.S. media learned what Tillerson said to the Saudis from the Saudi Tv. On Sunday, a transcript of the conference was sent out to the White House press corps.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders explained that the State Secretary was invited at the last minute to the press conference and there was no time to invite U.S. press. She insisted the U.S. media was “not excluded at all.”
Tillerson Routinely Fends Off U.S. Press
Nevertheless, this is not the first time U.S. reporters get information on a Trump administration event from the foreign press. It already happened earlier this month when Trump met with two Russian diplomats in the Oval Office but refused to grant American journalists access to the meeting. Russian media, however, had exclusive access. The American press took the info and photographs from the website of the Russian Foreign Ministry when they covered the event.
Also, Tillerson has a long record of overlooking the U.S. press in his overseas trips. On his first trip to Asia, he was accompanied by no American journalists, in a move that is highly unusual for a State Secretary. When he returned home, he agreed to give an exclusive interview to a single journalist from a conservative newspaper.