AP Reporter Calls Out WaPo for False Rex Tillerson Story

Rex Tillerson / AP
March 31, 2017

The Washington Post reported on Thursday that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson's political aides were instructed to avoid eye contact with him. The story was picked up by several news outlets, but was then refuted by an Associated Press reporter on Friday.

The Washington Post claimed that Tillerson has kept a tight-knit circle with his political aides, but has been slacking in his duties while being hard on his employees.

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.

On his first three foreign trips, Tillerson skipped visits with State Department employees and their families, embassy stops that were standard morale-boosters under other secretaries of state.

The Post sent out a tweet on Friday with a link to the article.

The Hill then picked up the story, and reported that diplomats were instructed to avoid eye contact with Tillerson.

The New York Daily News also hopped on the bandwagon, reporting that "U.S. diplomats reportedly told to avoid ‘eye contact’ with Secretary of State Rex Tillerson"

But Matt Lee, a reporter for the Associated Press, investigated the claim made by the Washington Post and found it to be false. Lee took Twitter on Friday to defend his claim of fake news.


Lee then explained his reasoning.

President Donald Trump announced in mid-December that he was nominating Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State.