comScore Report: State Dept. Employees Told Not to Address, Make Eye Contact with Rex Tillerson | Mediaite

Report: State Dept. Employees Told Not to Address, Make Eye Contact with Rex Tillerson

Rex Tillerson (Public domain State Department work)

On Thursday night, The Washington Post dropped a new piece with the headline “Secretary of State Rex Tillerson spends his first weeks isolated from an anxious bureaucracy.” Bylined to Anne Gearan and Carol Morello with contributions from Julie Tate, it paints a picture of a Secretary of State who’s cut himself off more tenured and well-informed State Department employees, preferring to hear from his own aides, instead. One section in particular has stood out as especially strange to readers:

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes a private elevator to his palatial office on the seventh floor of the State Department building, where sightings of him are rare on the floors below.

On many days, he blocks out several hours on his schedule as “reading time,” when he is cloistered in his office poring over the memos he prefers ahead of in-person meetings.

Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.

However, Matt Lee, the Associated Press’s diplomatic writer, took issue with that section of the report, saying that it was false and a distraction:

There has been no follow-up on Lee’s comments from the Post reporters as of yet.

[image via screengrab]

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