The former secretary of state, speaking before a graduating class at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, urged graduates to resist leaders who “seek to conceal the truth.”
From The Guardian:
Rex Tillerson, the former secretary of state, warned on Wednesday that America had plunged into a “crisis of ethics and integrity in our society and among our leaders” that could set the country down “a pathway to relinquishing our freedom”.
Tillerson, who was dismissed in March by Donald Trump, did not name the president. But his remarks, before a graduating class at the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington were largely seen as directed at the Trump administration.
“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,” Tillerson said.
“A responsibility of every American citizen to each other is to preserve and protect our freedom by recognizing what truth is and is not, what a fact is and is not, and to 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 clear-eyed 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.”
Trump has presented himself as a defender of the truth, having invented and popularized the phrase “fake news”, by which he means news that is bad for him.
But the president has been repeatedly exposed as an habitual liar prone to exaggerating the size of his crowds, his fortune and his popularity; given to denials of acquaintances, deals and relationships; and offering changing and contradictory descriptions of his own actions and motivations and those of people around him.