Tillerson holds press conference without US reporters

Greg Nash

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson held a press conference Sunday without U.S. reporters, according to multiple reports.

Tillerson reportedly held the press conference in Riyadh, but U.S. reporters were not told about it, according to their tweets.

After reports came out about that briefing, the White House announced Tillerson will hold a brief gaggle on Monday on Air Force One, according to pool reports.

The State Department also provided reporters a transcript of the questions and Tillerson’s responses, alongside Saudi Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir. 


In the excerpts of Tillerson’s comments, he echoed comments made by President Trump in an earlier speech in Saudi Arabia.

“I think what you heard is the expression of this administration’s policy and views not just toward this region, but toward American relationship with the Muslim world here as well as more broadly,” he said.

“And I think the President clearly was extending a hand and understanding that only together can we address this threat of terrorism that has befallen all of us, not just in this region but worldwide.”

He said the president is convinced when the “three great faiths of this world” and those who practice them come together, the world can “prevail over this — these forces of evil and these forces of terrorism and destabilization.”

“It’s these forces that prey on those who are less able to care for themselves,” he said. “So I think in our view, and I know the President’s view, defeating these evil forces is the first step on advancing human rights worldwide, and he clearly has that in his mind as well.”

Tillerson previously called himself “not a big media press access person.”

“I personally don’t need it. … When we’re ready to talk about what we’re trying to do, I will be available to talk to people. But doing daily availability, I don’t have this appetite or hunger to be that,” Tillerson said during a March interview.

He added: “When I have something important and useful to say, I know where everybody is and I know how to go out there and say it.”

Updated 4:12 p.m. 

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