Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has asked his aides to find ways to improve his media profile, a request that comes as U.S. diplomats increasingly worry about the direction of the State Department and whether their new boss has enough influence with President Donald Trump.
A State Department official said Tillerson’s aides have asked staffers at the agency to draft a paper laying out ways he can engage with reporters, who have been given almost no access to the new Cabinet member. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to share the information. The State Department’s press office did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment.
That Tillerson is asking for media advice suggests he is concerned about the perception that he is out of the loop on major foreign policy decisions being made by the Trump administration. It’s a perception that extends to the State Department as a whole, in part because the agency has not held its traditional daily press briefing since Trump took office more than a month ago, though on Wednesday it said it was exploring ways to expand access to that gathering when it resumes.