Tags: Trump Administration | tillerson | isis | propaganda | russia | state dept.

Politico: Tillerson Not Using $80M to Fight ISIS, Russian Propaganda

Image: Politico: Tillerson Not Using $80M to Fight ISIS, Russian Propaganda
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By    |   Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 09:38 AM

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not using almost $80 million in earmarked money to combat terrorist propaganda and disinformation from America's adversaries, Politico is reporting.

The money is earmarked for the State Department's Global Engagement Center and Tillerson has not issued a request for it. $60 million of it will expire on Sept. 30 if it is not transferred to the State Department by then, officials told Politico.

The other $19.8 million is not being used, as Tillerson's aides have not heeded calls from Congressional members or from career diplomats to use the money, the website notes.

Sources told Politico that Tillerson relies on aides instead of State Department's career staff and he also is looking to spend less money in the wake of President Donald Trump's plan to cut the department's budget.

Some officials said that Tillerson may not understand the details of the funding or he may not be aware of what his aides are doing.

"There's paranoia and inertia — decisions are not being made," a State Department official told the website. 

A former senior State Department official told Politico that Tillerson's spokesman, R.C. Hammond, expressed hesitation because Tillerson was working on coming to better terms with Russia over the war in Syria and other sensitive issues.

"Hammond said the secretary is in the process of working through disagreements with Russia, and this is not consistent with what we're trying to do," the official added. 

Former U.S. diplomat Brett Bruen told Politico these issues could be avoided.

"This is an extraordinary example of the dysfunction that is ripping through the State Department. What we're seeing is a small group of people with very thin knowledge making all the decisions in a very centralized and isolated process. It causes unnecessary delays and confusion," Bruen said.

Leadership positions remain unfilled in the State Department, which puts more pressure on Tillerson's office. He has said he's planning to reorganize the department.

However, one State Department official told Politico: "They use the reorganization as an excuse to not act on anything."

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Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is not using almost $80 million in earmarked money to combat terrorist propaganda and disinformation from America's adversaries, Politico is reporting.
tillerson, isis, propaganda, russia, state dept.
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2017-38-02
Wednesday, 02 Aug 2017 09:38 AM
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