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Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson addressed his staff at the State Department Thursday, saying he appreciated the opportunity to bid them a proper farewell.

President Trump suddenly fired him on March 13, with his position formally ending on March 31.

Tillerson urged the department’s employees to maintain their accountability, honesty and integrity. “Never loose sight of the most valuable asset you possess – your personal integrity,” Tillerson said, adding, “Not one of you was gifted it – you were born with it – it belongs to you, it always has and will belong to you, and you alone. Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised. Once you’ve done so, it is very, very hard to regain it, so guard it as the most precious thing you posses.”

He urged them to undertake one act of kindness every day. “This can be a very mean-spirited town,” Tillerson said, as the room erupted in laughter and applause. “But you don’t have to choose to participate in that,” he added, as they applauded again.

Tillerson did not mention President Trump by name.

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