What is going on with the State Dept? Secretary of State avoids the press.

Discussion in 'Politics, Religion, Social Issues' started by MadeTheSwitch, Mar 10, 2017.

  1. MadeTheSwitch macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #1
    First he fires a bunch of people with expiernce going back decades, and now Rex Tillerson has been avoiding the press. No press conferences. No appearance on Sunday talk shows. No interviews. Nothing. Not a real good precedent to set. If you aren't doing anything wrong what is their to hide?

    But now comes news that he won't even let the press travel with him on his upcoming trip to Asia. According to Spicer, "it's to save money". What a crock. They don't seem to try to save money when it comes to trips to Maralargo each week.

    So more BS from this administration. I think that all the BS from previous administrations combined would not even come close to the amount already shoveled out by Trump and company.

    This is so wrong. And certainly not transparent.
    http://money.cnn.com/2017/03/10/media/rex-tillerson-state-department-no-press/
     
  2. Zombie Acorn macrumors 65816

    Zombie Acorn

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    #2
    He probably fired a bunch of people because they weren't on board with the new administration, possibly even leaking documents.
     
  3. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #3
    Please. Some of these people go all the way back to 1977 and have served in every administration both parties. It's like walking into a company, throwing out all the computers and file cabinets and pretending that all that institutional knowledge lost doesn't matter.
     
  4. linuxcooldude macrumors 68020

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    #4
    Exactly this reason. Many are recommending Trump to do the same. Clinton, I believed also did this too.
     
  5. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

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    #5
    Look on the bright side: if he's not saying anything, he's not saying anything stupid.
     
  6. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #6
    I see no bright side to hiding from the press. He still trots out there for camera ops, but that's literally it. You would think a Secretary of State would at least have a kickoff press conference and take the press with him on trips.
     
  7. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

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    #7
    I don't think he's hiding. It's just the way he rolls, is my understanding. Prefers to work quietly.

    He's also busy establishing new diplomatic relationships as the new SoS. Add to that his plate is very full regarding the Asia trip next week. Between the ChiComs doing close flyovers near Japan, the Japanese wanting weapons, the South Koreans in presidential turmoil, and the crazy North Koreans doing weapons tests, I'm willing to cut Rex some slack on not doing Sunday shows, etc. He's really busy right now.
     
  8. Gutwrench macrumors 65816

    Gutwrench

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  9. JayMysterio macrumors 6502

    JayMysterio

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    #9
    I believe the only thing similar to Clinton was in keeping a low profile. Not the wholesale gutting we see now, but the opposite.
     
  10. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #10
    No, I think he is being sidelined, - he is not even mentioned, or referred to, when discussions about the composition or influence of the 'inner court' of the Trump administration take place - and is perceived as someone who is an unusually weak Secretary of State.

    "Foreign Policy" has argued that he "might be the weakest Secretary of State ever", arguing that the 'pillars' from which a Secretary of State derives his or her authority and influence are mostly missing in the case of Secretary Tillerson in the specific conditions o this administration.

    As Foreign Policy put it: "The secretary of state draws his or her power less from the U.S. Constitution or the laws than from five sources: backing from the president, advice and support from his or her department’s career officials, admiration from and alliances with other leaders in the government, praise from the press and public, and positive evaluations of his or her competence and power by foreign diplomats. These individuals and groups do not act independently but rather depend on each other and interact to build up or tear down the secretary’s power. Perceptions and reality blend as to be seen as powerful or weak, and that can readily become self-fulfilling in the Washington echo chamber."

    The article goes on to argue that none of these conditions hold good - or are thought to apply - in Mr Tillerson's case.
     
  11. JayMysterio macrumors 6502

    JayMysterio

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    #11

    I believe that's why the Secretaries have such staff, to help with such a busy workload. With less people, especially experienced people, that makes the job so much harder & mishaps more likely.
     
  12. vrDrew macrumors 65816

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    #12
    A truly terrifying article about the dismal way things are going at the State Department, from the Atlantic

    The negligence, if not to say outright antipathy, of the Trump people towards our professional diplomats is a crime. One that is inevitably going to cost our country, and very possibly the world, dearly.

    And I'm going to hold Donald Trump and his gang of crooks and nutjobs responsible.
     
  13. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #13
    Too early to tell. He could be just working on a total restructuring of the Department.
    Sooner or later he will be forced to give a press conference.
     
  14. jkcerda macrumors 6502

    jkcerda

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  15. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #15
    Oh please. You make it sound like this is a new position and no person in the history of the United States ever had to deal with another country before. He can take the press with him on the plane. And if he has time for a photo op, he certainly has time to answer a few questions.
     
  16. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #16
    While I understand your point, I still don't understand why people - including you - expect business as usual from this administration.
    The fact that other people - including my beloved HAK - held this job and did things in a certain way is totally superfluous for this administration. I am not saying that we should like it or not.
     
  17. MadeTheSwitch thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MadeTheSwitch

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    #17
    Because I expect transparency, answers, and accountability. You know, because we are paying their salaries and expenses. That's why.
     
  18. yaxomoxay macrumors 68000

    yaxomoxay

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    #18
    Meh, you don't get any of these by the ways of official briefings and such... as WikiLeaks (and the 1970's WaPo) exposed.
    The key is investigative journalism, which unfortunately is now seen as less important than gossip.
     
  19. Zenithal Suspended

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    #19
    There's a rising surge in investigative journalism. I loved the 1990s because it was still strong during that time. When the net became more common in households, papers began pushing to be on the net and the budgets for investigative journalism went down the toilet. There's still a few papers I read in paper form or digital. They scaled back, too, but aren't bad in terms of news.

    Economist, The Diplomat, The Hill, Roll Call, WSJ, Telegraph, Independent, Hong Kong Standard, Chicago Tribune. Just some examples. And If I want to go for a wild swing to ultra left, The Mercury News.
     
  20. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #20
    There's no way to win...
     
  21. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #21
    This piece reflects what Foreign Policy also wrote.

    It is clear that the State Department is being sidelined, its budget is being cut. Moreover, posts are either being culled or left unfilled.

    Likewise, it is clear that Mr Trump does not hold either Mr Tillerson or his Department in high regard, and is reluctant to listen to - or be appraised of - whatever expertise the department has.

    Very telling is the fact that at the (few) meetings that Mr Trump has held with foreign leaders to date - Secretary of State and the State Department have been conspicuous by their absence - it seems clear to me that their presence was neither desired nor sought.

    These days, with a cut budget, (which will have an impact on the projection of "soft power"), reduced staff levels, the fact that Mr Tillerson cannot appoint his own choices, few under-secretary of state positions filled, no daily press briefings, and little access to the tiny "inner court" - filled with amateurs and family - that actually runs the administration, I would argue that the State Department and the Secretary of State have been pretty much sidelined. And silenced.
     
  22. AlliFlowers Contributor

    AlliFlowers

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    #22
    Tillerson is not being allowed to staff his department. Who knows what else he is not being allowed to do. He can't do the job alone for long before he admits publicly that he's been cut off, not at the knees, but at the thighs. I wouldn't be surprised if he resigns. He's done what he's supposed to do in an honest and forthright way.
     
  23. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #23
    Not sure it's a wise strategy. Trump will look a fool if he needs diplomacy.
     
  24. FelicityW macrumors regular

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    #24
    And the press can't take things out of context, present it in a derisive tone, and otherwise mangle it. The press is as partisan as it can be; it is a shame so many people form their opinions based on what they say and never bother to pull the thread to find the reason or ask themselves "does that make sense?" The only guarantee is what you are being told by the press, is NOT what is Truth.
     
  25. Eraserhead macrumors G4

    Eraserhead

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    #25
    Well there's that too. Trump will look a foo if he can't fill his posts.
     

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