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Tillerson disputes reports of low morale in State Department

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson attends a Cabinet meeting. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson on Monday defended his department against mounting reports of low morale and unease among staff with its direction.

Tillerson has launched a major “redesign” of the unwieldy agency but was blasted last week by lawmakers on both sides of the aisle for his handling of the process, which some blame for driving out many veteran diplomats.

Tillerson’s spokeswoman, Heather Nauert, acknowledged Friday for the first time that there were morale problems at the department.

But Tillerson disputed that characterization Monday and, as he has had to do several times this year, defended his management.

“The redesign is going to address all of that,” Tillerson said during a brief appearance with Qatari Foreign Minister Sheik Mohammed bin Abdulrahman al Thani.

“And this department is performing extraordinarily well, and I take exception to anyone who characterizes otherwise,” Tillerson said. “It’s just not true.”

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© 2017 Los Angeles Times

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