Tillerson ‘offended’ at reports he is dismantling State Dept

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WASHINGTON (AP) — Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says he is "offended" by a growing number of harshly critical reports about his leadership of the State Department. He denies he's "hollowing out" the ranks of U.S. diplomats by forcing people out.

Tillerson's comments Tuesday came amid a crescendo of criticism from former diplomats, lawmakers, academics and others that he is intentionally dismantling the State Department for political reasons. Tillerson said such critiques are offensive the men and women who work at the department. "I am offended on their behalf that somehow we don't have a State Department that works," he said.

He spoke shortly after The New York Times published the latest broadside from two of the department's most respected retired career diplomats who said Tillerson is destroying the U.S. Foreign Service.