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Tillerson's farewell: "This can be a very mean-spirited town"

Rex Tillerson.
Photo: Alex Wong / Getty Images

In an emotional farewell address on Wednesday, outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told State Department employees to protect their personal integrity, which he called "the most valuable asset you possess."

Between the lines: Tillerson, who was unceremoniously ousted with a phone call from chief of staff John Kelly while using the toilet, used part of his speech to advocate treating others well, telling employees, "This can be a very mean-spirited town, but you don't have to choose to participate in that." He added, "Each of us gets to choose the person we want to be, and the way we want to be treated, and the way we will treat others."