Tillerson Defends Record, Thanks State Staffers in Remarks After Firing
He did NOT thank Trump.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed the media this afternoon, hours after President Donald Trump announced he is out of the job. Tillerson will hand over duties to Deputy Secretary John Sullivan at the end of the day and will end his tenure at midnight on March 31.
Here are some snippets from CBS News:
“The world needs selfless leaders like these,” said Tillerson, thanking staff members at the State Department.
He says noting the joint efforts of State and the Department of Defense, “U.S. leadership starts with diplomacy.”
“To my foreign service officers, and civil service colleagues, we all took the same oath of office, whether you are career, employee or a political appointee, we are all bound by that common commitment,” said Tillerson.
Tillerson noted the successes of the State Department under his leadership, saying “Working with allies, we exceeded the expectations of almost everyone” with regards to the maximum pressure campaign in North Korea. He noted the announcement of a future summit between the U.S. and North Korea took place during his overseas visit in Africa.
“There’s more to be done in Syria,” said Tillerson of the ongoing civil unrest in the region. He added much work remains to establish a world view of how to properly deal with China, the fight against ISIL and Russia’s meddling efforts.
“Russia must assess carefully as to how its actions are in the best interest of the Russian people in the world more broadly. Continuing on their current trajectory is likely to lead to greater isolation on their part, a situation which is not in anyone’s interest,” said Tillerson.
He added, “Much remains to be done to achieve our mission on behalf of the American people with allies and with partners.”
Tillerson closed his speech “by thanking all for the privilege of serving beside you for the past 14 months.” He said he will return “to private life as a private citizen and a ‘proud American’ of the opportunity he had to serve the country.”
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