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Tillerson "offended" by criticism of State budget cuts

Sec. of State Rex Tillerson. Photo: Sait Serkan Gurbuz / AP

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said that he is offended by reports that the State Department is being "hollowed out," and he attributed the cuts to two things: that the 2016 budget was "a record high," and that the Department expects to be successful in conflict areas and able to decrease their level of support.

Why it matters: A New York Times op-ed from two former diplomats said "draconian budget cuts for the State department...threaten to dismantle a great foreign service."

Tillerson's full statement:

"I have been so proud of the acting assistant secretaries and people who have stepped into acting undersecretary roles, and when I read these articles that there's this hallowing out, I take offense to that on their behalf...when people say somehow we don't have a state department that functions."