Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has opted not to send any senior department officials to support Ivanka Trump on her trip to India next week. The move is being seen as a personal snub amid rising tensions between Tillerson and the White House, according to a new CNN report.
In June, Trump was invited to the annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, which directly coincides with this year's theme of supporting female entrepreneurs. The State Department puts on the event each year, but numerous officials from within the department have said the decision is not related to drastic budget cutting measure, but rather because Trump was leading the event.
She has been lauded in Indian media as the "star attraction," according to CNN.
"No one higher than the deputy assistant secretary is allowed to participate. The secretary and his top staff have insisted on approving all travel-- even the most minute details," a source told CNN. "They (Tillerson and his staff) won't send someone senior because they don't want to bolster Ivanka. 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."
One White House source said the State Department's delegation, which is far less than in prior years, is being taken as a snub and that Tillerson and his close-knit circle "have rubbed some in the administration the wrong way," CNN reported.
There are some State Department staffers who will attend the event, however, no senior leadership officials.
Former Secretary of State John Kerry and former President Barack Obama attended the event, which was created in 2010, on more than one occasion in previous years.
"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 source told CNN. "So now, he's not sending senior people from the State Department to support this issue. He's not supporting Ivanka Trump."
Tillerson has sought drastic changes to his department which have included massive budget cuts and understaffing, and his relationship with President Donald Trump has been tumultuous at best. In recent months it was reported Tillerson called the president a "moron" which he never actually denied doing.