CNN anchor Jake Tapper on Thursday called it "insulting" for Secretary of State Rex Tillerson not to bring press on his first major trip to Asia as a member of the administration.
Secretary of State Tillerson about to embark on first major trip to Asia in the midst of North Korean crisis.— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 9, 2017
Not bringing any reporters.
Not bringing press on a trip like that is unusual & insulting to any American who is looking for anything but a state-run version of events— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) March 9, 2017
The comments come amid concerns among some reporters about access to the secretary of State.
NBC's Andrea Mitchell was escorted out of a room on Tuesday as she attempted to ask Tillerson and Ukrainian Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkin questions about China and Russia during a photo-op. A similar situation happened last week.
The former Exxon Mobil Corp. CEO is taking his first tour of Asia next week, visiting Japan, South Korea and China to meet with senior officials to discuss the growing threat from North Korea, security interests in the region and the U.S. economy.
His trek comes amid rising tensions between the U.S. and China over a response to North Korea’s recent missile tests. North Korea test fired four missiles into the Sea of Japan on Monday, a move seen as a provocation of Japan and South Korea.
The press criticism of public access for his Asia trip comes after Foreign Policy said that Tillerson "scurried away" from reporters' questions on Monday as he joined other administration officials to present President Trump's revised travel ban.
The secretary of State also allowed few journalists to accompany him on recent trips to Germany and Mexico, breaking with past practice, according to Foreign Policy.
Meanwhile, the State Department on Tuesday held the first press briefing since Trump took office, resuming the briefings after a six-week break.
Tillerson's predecessor John KerryJohn KerryPressure grows for breakthrough in Biden agenda talks Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by ExxonMobil — Climate divides conservative Democrats in reconciliation push Equilibrium/Sustainability — Presented by Altria — Walrus detectives: Scientists recruit public to spot mammal from space MORE traveled extensively as secretary of State with a press corps. He would often add detours to trips abroad for impromptu meetings, something his traveling press corps reportedly called a "Kerry-go-round."
The State Department didn't immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday on Tapper's remarks.
Updated: 5:55 p.m.