Now-former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson waves during his farewell remarks to State Department employees March 22, 2018, at the State Department in Washington, D.C.Photo: Alex Wong (Getty Images)
Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson was the guest speaker at Virginia Military Institute’s commencement Wednesday, and he took time during his speech to fire shots at his former boss as he spoke of the nation’s “growing crisis in ethics and integrity” and our leaders who “conceal the truth.”
Tillerson was the country’s top diplomat until March, when he was fired by Donald Trump and replaced by CIA Director Mike Pompeo. NBC News reports that Tillerson called on the graduates to maintain a “fierce defense of the truth.”
“As I reflect upon the state of our American democracy, I observe a growing crisis in ethics and integrity,” Tillerson said in his speech. “If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no longer grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom.”
He added, “When we as people, a free people, go wobbly on the truth, even on what may seem the most trivial of matters, we go wobbly on America.”
During his tenure as secretary of state, Tillerson did not have a great relationship with the president. He reportedly called Trump a “moron” in July after a meeting at the Pentagon.
I guess now that he is fired, he can take all the shots he wants at Trump without fear of repercussions, and I am here for this.
See Tillerson’s full remarks below.