Tillerson threatens to withdraw U.S. from UN Human Rights Council

Secretary Tillerson

A reporter from the conservative-leaning Independent Journal Review got the lone press seat on top USA diplomat Rex Tillerson's plane for his three-stop Asia trip, with the State Department shutting out other media from traveling with him.

According to CNN, he'll need it. Tillerson's first trip to Asia begins Wednesday, as tensions flare in the volatile region.

Last week, the State Department announced that Tillerson would not allow the press to travel with him on his government plane during his trip to Japan, South Korea, and China, an extremely unusual step that will reportedly make it "exceedingly hard, if not impossible" for journalists to cover the proceedings.

We don't take this opportunity lightly and recognize the controversy surrounding press access for the trip.

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

Acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner said in a phone briefing with reporters on Tuesday that the agency was considering "having a seat available" on Tillerson's aircraft.

McPike, the IJR reporter, is traveling unilaterally and is not a pool reporter. It said accommodations would be made for those who traveled commercially.

Injury rules Boult out of second Test
The off-spinner's last Test appearance was also against New Zealand in August 2016, after which he was dropped for Keshav Maharaj. Boult picked up a thigh injury in the drawn first Test.

"I covered State for more than nine years", The Washington Post's Glenn Kessler said on Twitter in response to the statement.

"We expect that the diplomatic press corps will be afforded access to Secretary Tillerson equal to that given to the reporter on the plane", the correspondents association said in its statement.

Foreign Policy reported this week that State Department officials were ordered to cut U.S. funding to the United Nations by up to 50 per cent.

The secretary has not been as press-friendly as his predecessor, John Kerry.

The former Exxon Mobil Corp. chief, who has yet to hold a media briefing in the six weeks since his Senate confirmation, bucked a tradition dating back decades in not taking a full complement of reporters on his trip, which will include stops in Tokyo, Seoul and Beijing.

Before founding IJR, Skatell worked for the National Republican Senatorial Committee and for the Republican Governors Association, according to his LinkedIn profile.

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