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Tillerson publicly talks to press for first time, and his answer on State Dept. budget cuts will blow you away

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Rex Tillerson is “confident” that the State Department will run more efficiently after budget cuts proposed by President Trump.

Efficiency is not usually what one would associate with government agencies, let alone touting budget cuts to make it happen, but the secretary of state told reporters in Tokyo Thursday that current spending at the State Department would not be “sustainable” moving forward.

Well, that’s a refreshing change of pace and strategy.

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“The level of spending that the State Department has been undertaking, in particular this past year, is simply not sustainable,” Tillerson said.“As time goes by, there will be fewer military conflicts that the U.S. will be directly engaged in.”

The brief news conference marked the first time the secretary of state publicly answered reporters’ questions since he assumed office. Tillerson was in Tokyo on the first stop of his six-day, three-nation tour of Asia.

The president’s proposal would cut 28 percent of the budget for U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid, Reuters reported. But Tillerson defended the need for the cuts as necessary to correct a “historically high” budget.

“I’m confident with the input of the men and women with the State Department we’ll construct a way forward that allows us to be much more effective, much more efficient and be able to do a lot with a lot fewer dollars,” he said.

Tillerson admitted it would be challenging but said he accepted that challenge “willingly.”

“We understand the challenge,” the former Exxon Mobil CEO said. “I take the challenge that the president has given us on willingly and with great expectation that with everyone in the State Department’s assistance, we’re going to deliver a much better result for the American people in the future.”

Of course, the MSNBC talking heads weren’t impressed with Tillerson’s statements and lamented what the cuts would do the agency’s “morale.” What about the “morale” of the taxpayers footing the bill?

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Frieda Powers

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