"After saying it was unable to accommodate press on the Secretary's plane to Asia due to space and budget constraints, the State Department offered a unilateral seat to one reporter", said the association, which is headed at the moment by journalists from the AP and CNN.
In President Trump's new proposed budget, the State Department and its foreign-aid programs take a huge cut, one that several experts have said will be devastating for global American diplomacy. "As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the US will be directly engaged in".
"It was chose to take a journalist from an outlet that doesn't normally travel with the Secretary of State, as part of an effort to include a broader representation of US media", Toner said.
In this case, a crucial trip to Japan, South Korea and China - the first by the secretary since North Korea test-fired a ballistic missile - is happening without the benefit of reporting by a traveling press corps with decades of institutional knowledge covering foreign policy. It also said the decision to travel without reporters was meant to cut costs.
Tillerson said on Thursday that he's ready to take on Trump's "challenge" to slash the budget at the State Department.
Some of those beat reporters are flying commercially, trying to keep up with Tillerson.
For decades, secretaries of state have almost always invited media to travel with them. They are expected to discuss Japan's plans to step up missile defense and the possible deployment of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system, as well as President Donald Trump's concerns about the USA trade imbalance with Japan, Reuters reported. I spent seven years traveling with Secretaries Hillary Clinton and John Kerry for Bloomberg News and can vouch that the charges to newsrooms were colossal - upwards of $10,000 for a four-city trip to Asia.
But Tillerson also said that the State Department "is coming off a historically high allocation of resources", something he said it must "recognise".
The association was responding to the revelation Tuesday that Mr. Tillerson had chosen to be accompanied by a White House correspondent from the Independent Journal Review (IJR), a digital news outlet founded in 2012 by former Republican political operatives, according to Reuters.