Tillerson Says Diplomats Must be a Team on First Day as Sec'y of State

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FILE PHOTO - ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson speaks during the IHS CERAWeek 2015 energy conference in Houston, Texas April 21, 2015. REUTERS/Daniel Kramer/File Photo TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RTX2UQYE (Copyright Reuters 2016)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says America's diplomats are entitled to express political beliefs but says "we cannot let our personal convictions overwhelm our ability to work as one team."

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Tillerson is addressing employees at the State Department on his first day on the job. He's alluding to a "dissent cable" signed by hundreds of diplomats criticizing President Donald Trump's immigration order.

Tillerson says the election was hotly contested and he wants U.S. diplomats to apply their skills to adapting to a changing diplomatic situation.

The former Exxon Mobil CEO also says he may make unspecified changes to the State Department. But he says his approach will never be "change for the sake of change."

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Tillerson says the first thing he asks himself every morning is whether Americans are safe.

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