State Department: Briefings to Resume Next Week — Have Been ‘Responsive’ to Media Inquiries

WASHINGTON, USA - FEBRUARY 17: Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner gives the daily press briefing at the U.S. State Department in Washington, USA on February 17, 2016. (Photo by Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency/Getty

The State Department has confirmed to Breitbart News that it will begin to host press briefings once against on March 6 and that it remains responsive to reporters’ questions as it prepares to restore the daily events.

Mainstream media outlets have questioned Secretary Rex Tillerson and the lack of daily press briefings and press conferences since he assumed his position as the head of the State Department on Feb. 1. Among those suspicious of the State Department were the Washington Post and CNN, who ran stories claiming that the “silence is deafening” and that questioned whether the secretary had been “marginalized” by President Donald Trump.

But an inquiry by Breitbart News about the daily briefings got an almost immediate response from Mark Toner, acting spokesman for the State Department.

“The Department will host press briefings beginning the week of March 6,” Toner said via email. “We continue to be responsive to media queries and breaking news on an ongoing basis.”

On Feb. 22, CNN posted a story titled “State Department silent while other countries shape the message” which read, in part:

In a town full of talkers, the silence is deafening. For more than a month, as the US has tangled with China, floated new terms for Middle East peace, watched North Korea test a ballistic missile and proposed an overhaul of ties with Russia, the State Department has been quiet.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson made his debut on the international stage over two days in Europe last week — and said less than 50 words in response to press questions, according to pool accounts.

On Wednesday, the Washington Post headline said, “Where in the world is Secretary of State Rex Tillerson?” The report compared Tillerson to Obama’s Secretary of State John Kerry.

For comparison, during John F. Kerry’s first month in office, he had delivered a similar welcoming speech, plus a speech at the University of Virginia, plus some 15 sets of readouts, plus a news conference.

That’s a noticeable gap. So is Tillerson invisibly beavering away at providing those essential but invisible components of foreign policy — or is he just invisible because he’s been marginalized?”

No mention of contacting the State Department was referenced in the Washington Post article.

CNN said a request for comment was not answered by the State Department for its report.


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