Secretary of State Tillerson Travel to the Philippines, Thailand, and Malaysia

U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meet

One former senior department official told Politico part of the delay is due to the new and convoluted decision-making process by Tillerson, a former ExxonMobil CEO.

Donald Trump has heard the US 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?" "And so I think the fact that they felt the need to take symmetrical action -- and that's the way they view it -- is that they were delayed in taking this action, and I think President Putin has said that".

Tillerson's reluctance to sit down with his North Korean counterpart comes despite his growing push for Pyongyang to return to the negotiating table with the U.S. Tillerson said this week that such talks would have to be predicated on the North giving up its nuclear weapons aspirations and that the conditions for such talks haven't yet been met by North Korea's government.

Tillerson and President Donald Trump have been working to mend relations with Russian Federation from their "all-time low point" (in Tillerson's words) after USA intelligence agencies issued a report early this year concluding that the Kremlin worked to interfere in the 2016 election.

"We have a good relationship", Tillerson said.

It is "part of the environment in which we work", Tillerson told reporters Tuesday.

Putin's decision to slash the staff at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow, Tillerson suggested, was a play to domestic politics after Barack Obama expelled Russian diplomats and seized two Russian properties in the closing weeks of his presidency.

The money to combat Russian misinformation was set aside by Congress late past year for the State Department's Global Engagement Center. "Does it make our life more hard? Of course it makes our life more hard".

Pence said Trump would sign the sanctions into law "very soon", and that states in eastern Europe, including Ukraine, the Baltic states and Georgia should see that as a further of American commitment to their independence and sovereignty. "There's been no belligerence", Tillerson said. "We have differences, but I think if we're not having those differences I'm not sure that I am serving him". That's stoked new tensions between Tillerson and the White House in the past; Tillerson reportedly blew up at White House aides last month after they torpedoed his pick for a new envoy to east Asia.

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