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.>> The comments made at a graduation address on Wednesday at the Virginia Military Institute, an apparent swipe at the President, who fired Tillerson in March after little more than a year on the job.
The former Secretary of State didn't mention Trump by name, but warned of leaders who seek to conceal the truth, and told the graduating cadets to not accept alternative realities>> And begin by holding ourselves accountable to truthfulness, and demand our pursuit of America's future be fact based. Not based on wishful thinking, not hoped for outcomes made in shallow promises, but with a cleared view, of the facts as they are, and guided by the truth, that will set us free to seek solutions to our most daunting challenges.
>> The speech was among Tillerson's first public remark since leaving the State Department ending a reportedly rocky relationship with the president. Last year Tillerson was forced to hold a news conference to deny a report saying he had referred to Trump as a moron in a private conversation, though he did not specifically deny using the word.
>> The places I come from we don't deal with that kind of petty nonsense.>> In his farewell remarks, Tillerson declined to thank Trump for giving him the cabinet position, and urged State Department employees to be kind to one another.>> This can be a very mean spirited town.
But you don't have to choose to participate in that.>>