Rex Tillerson Warns Of ‘Crisis Of Ethics And Integrity’ Among U.S. Leaders In Commencement Speech
Rex Tillerson may not be working in the Trump Administration anymore, but he is clearly not afraid to continue speaking out about the state of the U.S. Government.
Rex Tilerson Bemoans Ethics Crisis In U.S. Politics
The former CEO of Exxon Mobil — who was ousted as Secretary of State in March after just over a year in the White House — appeared to issue a sharp criticism of President Donald Trump in a speech on Wednesday.
“As I reflect upon the state of our American democracy, I observe a growing crisis in ethics and integrity,” Tillerson said in a commencement address at the Virginia Military Institute. “If we do not as Americans confront the crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders in both public and private sector — and regrettably, at times, even the nonprofit sector — then American democracy, as we know it, is entering its twilight years.”
Tillerson continued, bemoaning the Trump administration’s refusal to accept facts and instead push falsehoods that many Americans soon begin believing to be true.
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“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.
Earlier this month, The Washington Post reported that since taking office, Trump has made 3,001 false or misleading statements.
During his time as Secretary of State, Tillerson was reported to have butted heads with the president and other administration officials over major foreign policy issues like the Iran nuclear deal and negotiations with North Korea. He even became the center of a story that said he allegedly called Trump a “moron,” an insult Tillerson never denied.
Tillerson’s State Department also became embroiled in a scandal for allegedly spending $12 million on consultants for its redesign.
Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo replaced Tillerson as Secretary of State. Tillerson reportedly learned of his firing after seeing a tweet from Trump.
Tillerson also said in his commencement speech that Washington can sometimes be “a very mean-spirited town.”
“Look for employers who set high standards for ethical conduct,” he urged the graduates of VMI.
According to The New York Times, Tillerson has spent much of his time at his ranch in Texas since leaving the White House.
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