Secretary of State Rex Tillerson just held a press conference in Saudi Arabia but failed to alert or invite any members of the American press.
The pool has confirmed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a news conference in Riyadh that U.S. reporters were not told about.
— Kaitlan Collins (@kaitlancollins) May 21, 2017
— AM Joy w/Joy Reid (@amjoyshow) May 21, 2017
State Department R.C. Hammond said of the exclusion:
“Regrettably, there was not enough time to alert or make arrangements for U.S. media to participate. Under different circumstances, U.S. media would have been alerted.”
Per Politico, “A rushed transcript by the Daily Mail’s David Martosko was sent out to the White House pool on Sunday, transcribed from Saudi TV.”
This is not the first time that the American media has had to rely on foreign press for information about the movements of our own government. When Trump made the widely criticized decision to give the Russians exclusive access into the Oval Office, American media had to cite the Russian Foreign Ministry when using a photo of the meeting.
This is also not the only time that Tillerson has scorned our press. On his first trip as Secretary of State to Asia, he broke precedent by traveling without a press pool. He instead gave one exclusive interview to a reporter from the conservative Independent Journal Review.
For an administration that gained traction on a promise of “America First,” the Trump White House is exceedingly deferential to members of the foreign press. As they continue to enshroud themselves in secrecy, the Trump administration is only further desolating its trust in the eyes of the American public.
Brian Tyler Cohen is a political writer, actor, and comedy sketch director. He graduated from Lehigh University with a dual degree in English and Business. He currently lives in Los Angeles.