US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, who has prohibited any pool reporters from traveling with him, says he is not “a big media press access person.”
Only one journalist, and that from the conservative Independent Journal Review, has been handpicked for Tillerson to travel with him.
However, the secretary of state defended his decision not to necessarily take anyone along in an interview with the same reporter, Erin McPike, on Saturday.
Tillerson argued that not carrying reporters around the world on a plane would save money, since it “flies faster, (and) allows me to be more efficient.”
He noted that media already exists wherever he is heading, undermining the US secretary of state’s tradition of spending time with reporters on the plane.
“That’s not the way I tend to work,” said the 64 year old. “First and foremost is what is my mission and why am I going? How can I best accomplish that mission? What’s the most effective way for me to do that?”
The former chairman and CEO of ExxonMobil further asserted that he “personally” does not need press.
“When we’re ready to talk about what we’re trying to do, I will be available to talk to people. But doing daily availability, I don’t have this appetite or hunger to be that,” he said. “When I have something important and useful to say, I know where everybody is and I know how to go out there and say it.”
Tillerson’s comments were reminiscent of his boss’s, President Donald Trump, who has had a contentious relationship with what he calls “mainstream” news organizations.
The New York billionaire has also banned some news outlets and publicly criticized individual reporters.