Warning! Do not look directly into the eyes of Secretary of State Rex Tillerson or you will not only turn to stone but place a curse upon your descendants for the next forty generations.
The Washington Post not only undermined its own story about diplomats being instructed to not look directly into the eyes of Secretary Rex Tillerson but had that report declared to be fake news by an Associated Press diplomatic writer. First let us look at the original March 30 fake news report by Anne Gearan and Carol Morello:
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson takes a private elevator to his palatial office on the seventh floor of the State Department building, where sightings of him are rare on the floors below.
On many days, he blocks out several hours on his schedule as “reading time,” when he is cloistered in his office poring over the memos he prefers ahead of in-person meetings.
Most of his interactions are with an insular circle of political aides who are new to the State Department. Many career diplomats say they still have not met him, and some have been instructed not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.
Just two paragraphs later comes this big alarm bell that casts a huge aspersion upon the veracity of this wild claim:
Eight weeks into his tenure as President Trump’s top diplomat, the former ExxonMobil chief executive is isolated, walled off from the State Department’s corps of bureaucrats in Washington and around the world. His distant management style has created growing bewilderment among foreign officials who are struggling to understand where the United States stands on key issues. It has sown mistrust among career employees at State, who swap paranoid stories about Tillerson that often turn out to be untrue. And it threatens to undermine the power and reach of the State Department, which has been targeted for a 30 percent funding cut in Trump’s budget.
We could mark this down as one of those paranoid stories that often turn out to be untrue. However, veteran AP State Department reporter Matt Lee has pretty much removed all doubt about whether this is a fake news story as you can see in this March 31 report by Joe Concha in The Hill:
A veteran State Department reporter is throwing cold water on a bombshell report that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson instructed some staff members “not to speak to him directly — or even make eye contact.”
The Washington Post’s Thursday story portrays Tillerson as a reclusive figure who is "isolated, walled off from the State Department’s corps of bureaucrats in Washington and around the world." The piece says Tillerson has instructed his staff to warn "career diplomats" not to speak or make eye contact with him.
...Associated Press chief diplomatic writer Matt Lee took to Twitter to dispute the report.
“This is not true and people repeating it are making it more difficult to address very real issues," Lee tweeted.
This is not true and people repeating it are making it more difficult to address very real issues. https://t.co/ztEm3mAXd6
— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) March 31, 2017
Lee even emphasized that he checked out this allegation weeks ago:
@MarkHarrisNYC I would suggest to you that I was told of this allegation - weeks ago - and checked it out.— Matt Lee (@APDiploWriter) March 31, 2017
So did the Washington Post take down the no eye contact claim that even it admitted was very dubious? Nope. Even though their media columnist Margaret Sullivan whined about their term "fake news" being ruined, their Trump Derangement Syndrome forces them to continue to stand by their fake news story.