AP NEWS

Rex Tillerson urges colleagues not to compromise ‘integrity’ in ‘mean-spirited’ Washington

March 22, 2018 GMT

Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said goodbye to his colleagues on Thursday after being fired by President Trump.

“Never lose site of your most valuable asset, the most valuable asset you possess: your personal integrity,” Mr. Tillerson said.

“Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised. Once you’ve done so it is very, very hard to regain it,” he added.

He also called Washington a “mean-spirited” town and urged his colleagues to “not to participate.” Mr. Tillerson’s remarks could be a swipe against Mr. Trump who reportedly did not call Mr. Tillerson prior to announcing his termination on Twitter last week. The two men butted heads during Mr. Tillerson’s brief tenure at the department over both personal conduct and policy differences.

Current CIA Director Mike Pompeo is set to replace Mr. Tillerson at the State Department pending Senate confirmation.