-- Human rights was not a primary focus of President Trump’s talks with the leaders of Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said.
Saudi Arabia’s is the 10th worst nation in the world for granting political and civil rights to its citizens, according to the 2017 ranking by Freedom House, an independent watchdog group.
Tillerson told reporters that in Trump’s conversations over the weekend with the Saudi king and others in the royal family, “We were focused on this fight against terrorism primarily.”
The secretary of state also responded to questions about some of the president’s troubles back home, including about Trump’s disclosure of sensitive intelligence to Russian officials and his firing of former FBI Director James Comey.
Ahead of the president’s arrival in Tel Aviv and his meeting with the Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today, Tillerson was asked if Trump planned to apologize for sharing Israeli intelligence information about ISIS with Russian officials at a recent White House meeting.
“I don’t know that there’s anything to apologize for," Tillerson told reporters aboard Air Force One as the U.S. delegation traveled to Israel with Trump on his first foreign trip as president.
The Washington Post reported that Trump disclosed sensitive information to Russia's Ambassador to the U.S., Sergey Kislyak, and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov during a May 10 meeting in the Oval Office.
U.S. officials told ABC News that the intelligence was shared with the U.S. with the intent that the source remain confidential and, according to the Post, that the information not be disclosed to others.
President Trump on Twitter argued that he has the "absolute right" to share information with the Russians, and wanted to share with them "facts pertaining to terrorism and airline flight safety."
When Tillerson was asked about any concerns by Israel about the sharing of its intelligence, he said: “To the extent the Israelis have any questions, or clarification, I’m sure we’re happy to provide that."
The New York Times reported on Friday that during that Oval Office meeting Trump told the Russians that he "faced great pressure because of Russia" - an apparent reference to investigations into Russia's interference in the 2016 election and any potential ties between it and Trump's campaign - but with the firing of Comey, that has been "taken off."
In a statement Friday in response to the Times' report, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Comey "created unnecessary pressure on our ability to engage and negotiate with Russia."
Tillerson was asked today whether Comey's dismissal makes his job easier as secretary of state.
"“It’s had no effect on my dealings with Russia," he said, adding, "It's had no impact on my ability to conduct foreign affairs from the State Department with my counterparts."
Tillerson's press briefing aboard Air Force One today came after yesterday's press conference in Riyadh with the Saudi foreign minister, which members of the traveling American press corps were not informed about.
White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders confirmed to ABC News that the press conference came about at the "last minute" and that "regrettably, there was not enough time to issue an alert to the traveling US media."
ABC News' Jordyn Phelps contributed this report.