The State Department’s acting spokesperson admitted Thursday that he did not know Mexico’s foreign minister was in Washington to meet with senior White House aides.
Foreign diplomats are typically received by the secretary of State during visits to Washington. But at the State Department’s press briefing on Thursday, Mark Toner said Mexican Foreign Secretary Luis Videgaray’s trip to the capital wasn’t on his radar.
“We’ll take that and get back to you. I was unaware that he was — the foreign minister was in town,” Toner said when asked whether State officials would meet with Videgaray.
Videgaray met Thursday with President Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, as well as National Economic Council director Gary Cohn and national security adviser H.R. McMaster, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Speculation has risen in recent weeks that the State Department is largely being sidelined under the Trump administration. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has been notably absent from duties typical of the country’s top diplomat, such as receiving foreign leaders alongside the president, and Trump’s budget plan reportedly threatens to cut State Department funding by as much as 30 percent.