State Department resumes press briefings after 6-week break

WASHINGTON (AP) " The State Department resumed news briefings Tuesday after a six-week break.

In the first briefing since Jan. 19, spokesman Mark Toner pushed back on suggestions that the department's role in the Trump administration has been reduced.

The absence of briefings, the low profile adopted by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and reports that the diplomatic budget may be cut by 37 percent had all contributed to that impression.

Toner, a career diplomat who had served as deputy spokesman in the last years of the Obama administration, said Tillerson is playing an active role as a foreign policy adviser to the White House and is looking for ways to save money without compromising the department's work on behalf of the American people.

The department has announced a plan to brief reporters four days per week, with two of the sessions being televised live.

Under previous administrations of both political parties, the department has held on-camera briefings almost daily.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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