Tillerson Responds to Criticism of Low Morale at State Department, Says ‘Vast Majority’ Have Adjusted to New Admin


Secretary of State Rex Tillerson responded to accusations of morale issues inside the State Department during a press briefing on Tuesday.

Tillerson was asked to respond to criticism that the State Department has suffered from low morale and personnel issues since shortly after he was sworn in as secretary in February.

The secretary of state said the department is making progress, and the adjustment to the new administration has been an issue for "only a few people."

"Anytime you have a dramatic change in the administration like we had six months ago, there are going to be individuals who struggle with that," Tillerson said.

Despite the struggle, Tillerson "hoped people could put those feelings aside and commit to the mission," a sentiment he expressed during his remarks on the first day at the State Department.

"My observation has been that the vast majority of people in the building have done that. Has everyone done it? No," Tillerson said. "Some people are still struggling to get over that and those are the voices that generally are heard."

Tillerson said he has held meetings with employees and actively worked to hear from the staff in order to cultivate an effective workplace. He said that morale is an essential component to having a team that can carry out President Donald Trump's agenda.

"The policy that we are leading is dictated by the president of the United States, who was selected by the American people," Tillerson said.

"We are working on behalf of the American people," Tillerson added. "All of the professionalism and the skill that people have in this building to do that, they dedicate themselves to doing."

Tillerson acknowledged that he has encountered some individuals who "didn't want to do that," "couldn't do that," or those who "didn't want to serve in a certain role."

In those cases, he said that he has supported his staff to find a different role within the State Department.

Jack Heretik

Jack Heretik   Email Jack | Full Bio | RSS
Jack is a Media Analyst for the Washington Free Beacon. He is from Northern Ohio and graduated from the Catholic University of America in 2011. Prior to joining the Free Beacon, Jack was a Production Assistant for EWTN's The World Over and worked on Sen. Bill Cassidy's 2014 campaign.

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