In an effort to frame a Russian conspiracy narrative against Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Reuters has to ignore their own prior reporting 48 hours ago.
Reuters publishes an article citing Secretary Tillerson’s schedule and his decision not to attend a NATO summit in Brussels on April 5th and 6th, by citing Tillerson attending a Chinese state visit meeting in the U.S. scheduled for April 6th and 7th.
REUTERS – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson plans to skip a meeting with NATO foreign ministers next month in order to stay home for a visit by China’s president and will go to Russia later in April, U.S. officials said on Monday, disclosing an itinerary that allies may see as giving Moscow priority over them.
Tillerson intends to miss what would have been his first meeting of the 28 NATO allies on April 5-6 in Brussels so that he can attend President Donald Trump’s expected April 6-7 talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, four current and former U.S. officials said.
Skipping the NATO meeting and visiting Moscow could risk feeding a perception that Trump may be putting U.S. dealings with big powers first, while leaving waiting those smaller nations that depend on Washington for security, two former U.S. officials said. (read more)
However, only two days ago Reuters also published another anticipated visit in April:
REUTERS – Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi will make his first state visit to Washington during the first week of April at the invitation of U.S. President Donald Trump, Egyptian state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram reported on Sunday.
The trip will be Sisi’s first U.S. state visit since being elected president in 2014 as former U.S. President Barack Obama had never extended an invitation. (read more)
Regardless of the Brussels NATO meeting – It would appear both Secretary Tillerson and President Trump have a remarkably full calendar of international leaders and diplomats set for visitation the first seven days of April.
But Reuters cannot let their own prior reporting of Sisi’s visit get in the way of a good ‘Muh Russia’ narrative.
See how that works?
If T-Rex went to the NATO Brussels meeting, and President Trump met with Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and China’s President Xi Jinping, the narrative would be that President Trump is setting the foreign policy agenda and undercutting Secretary Tillerson. However, when Secretary Tillerson doesn’t go to the Brussels NATO meeting and remains in DC to host Xi Jinpin and el-Sisi, the narrative is Secretary Tillerson favors going to Russia over all important NATO.
Obviously for the latter narrative Reuters needs to overlook (aka bury) the timing for the Russian visit is scheduled to take place in “late April” after attending the G7 in Italy.
Again, see how that works? As today’s hit piece outlines:
‘GRAVE ERROR’ – […] Representative Eliot Engel, the senior Democrat on the U.S. House of Representatives foreign affairs committee, said that Tillerson was making a mistake by skipping the Brussels talks.
“Donald Trump’s Administration is making a grave error that will shake the confidence of America’s most important alliance and feed the concern that this Administration simply too cozy with (Russian President) Vladimir Putin,” Engel said in a written statement.
“I cannot fathom why the Administration would pursue this course except to signal a change in American foreign policy that draws our country away from western democracy’s most important institutions and aligns the United States more closely with the autocratic regime in the Kremlin,” he added.
A former U.S. official echoed the view.
“It feeds this narrative that somehow the Trump administration is playing footsie with Russia,” said the former U.S. official on condition of anonymity. (more)
NATO should be just fine with U.S. Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs Tom Shannon representing U.S. interests; while T-Rex and President Trump greet and host both delegations of President el-Sisi and President Xi Jinping.
The level of faux-controversy is pathetic.