Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will not be sending a senior delegate to support Ivanka Trump on her trip to India next week in what is considered a personal snub, according to a report.
Ivanka, who was invited to the State Department’s annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is due to make her highest-profile appearance since she became an adviser under her father’s administration.
But Tillerson and his staff are not allowing anyone higher than the deputy assistant secretary to attend “because they don’t want to bolster Ivanka,” according to one official who spoke to CNN.
“It’s now another rift between the White House and State at a time when Rex Tillerson doesn’t need any more problems with the President,” the official added.
Tensions between Tillerson and President Trump have been simmering for months. The former Exxon exec reportedly called Trump a “moron” and insisted he wasn’t “going to deal with petty stuff like that” when asked to comment.
Another source indicated the beef has trickled down to President Trump’s daughter, saying, “Rex doesn’t like the fact that he’s supposed to be our nation’s top diplomat, and Jared and now Ivanka have stepped all over Rex Tillerson for a long time.”
The summit, which the State Department created in 2010, drew the likes of former Secretary of State John Kerry and former President Barack Obama in previous years.
While the decision not to send a high-level delegate to India appears to be rooted in personal grievances, Tillerson has also vowed to slash the State Department’s budget and roll back on filled positions.
The move has sounded the alarm of Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), who addressed a letter to Tillerson that read, “America’s diplomatic power is being weakened internally as complex global crises are growing externally.”