In veiled shot at Trump, Tillerson warns democracy at risk

    FILE - In this Jan. 10, 2018 file photo, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson listens as President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

    Former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has taken a veiled shot at President Donald Trump, warning that a growing national crisis of ethics and integrity has put American democracy at risk.

    In remarks to graduates of the Virginia Military Institute on Wednesday, Tillerson lamented assaults on facts that he said would lead to a loss of freedom. He said only societies able to pursue the truth and challenge alternate realities can be truly free.

    Tillerson did not mention Trump by name but alluded to some policies of the Trump administration by decrying those who neglect or ignore long-standing allies or deny that free trade is an engine of global growth.

    Trump fired Tillerson by tweet in mid-March, later explaining that he didn't see eye to eye with him.

    Granlund cartoon: Tillerson fired (

    This story will be updated.

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