U.S. Secretary of State Not Sending Senior Officials for Ivanka Trump’s India Trip: Report

Rex Tillerson’s decision to not send a high-level delegation to India is unrelated to budget cuts for his department, the report said.


U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson wouldn’t be sending a high-level delegation from his department during Ivanka Trump’s upcoming visit to India. The move is being seen as an indication of his displeasure about U.S. President Donald Trump’s daughter leading the United States’ delegation for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit that’s beginning in India on Nov. 28.

Tillerson’s decision to not send the high-level delegation is unrelated to budget cuts for his department, several state department officials and sources close to the White House told CNN. The event is being hosted by India and the United States jointly this year in Hyderabad. It is organized by the U.S. State Department.

In past years, State Secretary John Kerry and sometimes U.S. President Barack Obama had led the delegation.

“No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate. The secretary and his top staff have insisted on approving all travel– even the most minute details,” one senior State Department official told the publication.

“They (Tillerson and his staff) won’t send someone senior because they don’t want to bolster Ivanka. It’s now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn’t need any more problems with the President,” the official added.

The report comes amid growing tension between the White House and the State Department. Tillerson and his inner circle are unwilling to support Ivanka, for whom this will be the highest-profile appearance representing the United States so far.

“Rex doesn’t like the fact that he’s supposed to be our nation’s top diplomat, and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time. So now, he’s not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He’s not supporting Ivanka Trump,” a source was quoted as saying in the report.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had invited Ivanka for the summit, the theme for which is “Women First, Prosperity for All”. Many countries are sending women-only delegations for the summit.

U.S. Acting Assistant Secretary for the central Asia region, Alice Wells, was supposed to attend the summit but her participation has been withdrawn now.

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