US State Dept. Evaluating Most Appropriate Strategy to Counter Propaganda

Bruno Cirelli
Agosto 4, 2017

One State Department official said Tillerson "leaned on Palmieri heavily" for Western Hemisphere issues, including in formulating the newly unveiled sanctions on Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro and a summit with Central American leaders in June.

Most of the money - $60 million - was earmarked for the State Department's Global Engagement Center and has been sitting with the Pentagon, and it will expire if it is not transferred before September 30.

As current and former officials tell it, Tillerson's hesitation to authorize the funds is the latest example of the suspicion the former ExxonMobil CEO supposedly has for the career officers at State, who feel marginalized by a cabal of outsiders now running the show at Foggy Bottom.

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

Donald Trump has heard the USA intelligence assessments about Russian Federation taking steps to help put him in power, but the president refuses to believe it. Trump recently sat down with radical TV preacher Pat Robertson said, in reference to Russia's Vladimir Putin, "Why would he want me?" Tillerson says he'll meet with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during his trip to the Philippines starting Sunday.

Meanwhile, Kyodo news agency reported Thornton said that the US will call for the suspension of North Korea's membership of the ARF as part of efforts to beef up pressure on the regime bent on developing missiles and nuclear weapons.

Tillerson might need some help from Moscow in dealing with North Korea too, or at least with pressuring China into doing more to control Kim Jong-un.

Still, Tillerson said "all indications" are that the president will sign the bill. The money has already been allocated to the State Department.

"They put in a request in for additional funding", he said, referring to the Center's staffers.

The secretary of state said the department is making progress, and the adjustment to the new administration has been an issue for "only a few people".

But the former senior State official denied that was the case.

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 Russian Federation over the war in Syria and other sensitive issues.

If Hammond's telling the truth, then it might make sense not to accept the cash, as it would obligate State to account for it at the end of the budget cycle. That's dysfunction rather than malice, but the end result is still the same.

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