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The reporter for a right-leaning news outlet who was the only journalist allowed to fly with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on his visit to Asia filed her first report from the trip early Saturday morning.
Erin McPike of the Independent Journal Review was the only reporter given access to Tillerson’s plane, while other journalists and even pool reporters were not allowed to travel with the U.S. contingent.
McPike on Saturday filed a report headlined “Tillerson Lays Out Diplomatic Priorities With China During Asia Visit.” In it, Tillerson gives quotes about the “imminent” danger of North Korea and the need for the U.S. and China to focus on teaming up to handle the threat.
The report also noted Tillerson was unaware President Trump would send a tweet questioning China’s effort on handling North Korea while the trip was ongoing.
McPike’s report also discussed the controversy over lack of press access on the trip. It quoted Tillerson describing himself as “not a big media press access person” and declining to commit to including a travel pool reporter on future trips.
IJReview also published a full transcript of the interview with Tillerson.
The State Department Correspondents’ Association this week criticized the agency for not allowing a pool reporter to travel with Tillerson but instead handpicking one journalist.
IJReview found separate controversy within the U.S. this week when it published a report that seemed to raise a conspiratorial link between former President Obama and a Hawaii federal judge who ruled against President Trump’s travel ban.
The report was eventually removed with an apology in its place, and a reporter for the publication resigned in the wake of the incident.
Reports emerged Friday that a top political ally to Vice President Pence is an investor in IJReview, creating more questions about the State Department’s decision to only allow McPike on Tillerson’s plane.
Tillers on Friday emphasized that all options are on the table to deal with North Korea’s nuclear and missile programs, including military ones.
He said earlier in the trip that the different attempts to North Korea over the past 20 years, including diplomacy, “have failed,” adding that “strategic patience” — an Obama administration description of North Korea strategy — is over.