State Secretary Tillerson takes only one reporter to Asia

"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 US will be directly engaged in".

Bureau chiefs and editors for major media outlets such as the Associated Press, The New York Times, National Public Radio, BBC, CNN, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Voice of America, and a few others informed the Department of State that they "were deeply concerned" by Tillerson's decision to travel overseas without them.

Tillerson was supportive of Trump's initiative to cut State Department funding.

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. If the Secretary of State himself is ducking reporters and getting away with it, who's to say mayors, school board members, police commissioners and state legislators won't suddenly decide to keep the press out of open meetings?

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The journalist on Tillerson's plane that arrived in Tokyo on Wednesday, Erin McPike of the Independent Journal Review (IJR), was not acting as a pool reporter. Depending on the number of staff Tillerson chose to take to Asia, the Boeing 737 he travelled on could likely have accommodated more than one reporter. Tillerson said the lower budget reflects the administration's expectations that the United States will be engaged in fewer foreign wars, and that other countries will contribute more to development and disaster aid.

"We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognize the controversy surrounding press access for the trip", it said in a statement.

But Tillerson also said that the State Department "is coming off a historically high allocation of resources", something he said it must "recognise". He was rarely expected to answer media queries and never had to travel with reporters. The journalists who reported Tillerson's landing in Tokyo on Wednesday evening travelled there on commercial flights. 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.