Although it was Tillerson's last day at the State Department, he
retains the title of secretary of state until March 31, just
over a year since he began the job.
Trump fired Tillerson last week via a tweet, capping months of
friction over policy on North Korea, Russia and Iran. Trump
named CIA Director Mike Pompeo as Tillerson's successor.
"This can be a very mean-spirited town but you don't have to
choose to participate in that," Tillerson told staff gathered in
the lobby of the State Department, his comments interrupted by
"Each of us get to choose the person we want to be and the way
we want to be treated and the way we will treat others," he
Since his firing, Tillerson has pointedly declined to thank
Trump for giving him the opportunity to run the State
Department. He made no mention of the president in his remarks.
Tillerson, who has delegated his responsibilities to his deputy,
John Sullivan, met Pompeo on Monday.
Pompeo's nomination hearing is expected to take place as soon as
(Reporting by Lesley Wroughton; Editing by Tom Brown)
[© 2018 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2018 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Thompson Reuters is solely responsible for this content.