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story.lead_photo.caption “We disagreed on things,” Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said of President Donald Trump during a farewell news conference Tuesday at the State Department.

WASHINGTON — Fired top diplomat Rex Tillerson says he's praying for America.

Tillerson, in a message sent to U.S. embassies and consulates three days after President Donald Trump ousted him, also told American diplomats he was proud of them and would be cheering for their success.

"Know that I will continue to pray for our country, our leaders, and your efforts to make this world a better place than we found it," Tillerson said Friday in the message, a copy of which was obtained by The Associated Press.

He urged the diplomatic corps to "continue to exhibit the leadership qualities for which you are distinguished" as they prepare for new leadership.

Tillerson, whom Trump fired Tuesday, did not mention the president or his designated successor, CIA Director Mike Pompeo, in the message. But he said the State Department was "in good hands" with its interim chief, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan.

"In this time of transition, I know you will continue to exhibit the leadership qualities for which you are distinguished," he said. "I urge you to remain focused on our shared mission and embrace an orderly and smooth transition process. I have every confidence that you will continue to work diligently to advance our national interests and our values as a nation."

Tillerson was widely criticized for trying to slash the State Department's budget and staffing, sending morale plummeting. Nevertheless, he praised the diplomatic corps for their dedication, talent and patriotism as well as their willingness to serve the nation far from home and often at personal risk.

"Although you typically receive little recognition or acclaim for these sacrifices, your uncommon devotion allows hundreds of millions of Americans to live in peace and in freedom," he said.

Tillerson has relinquished day-to-day responsibilities of the State Department to Sullivan but will continue to hold the secretary of state title until March 31.

Tillerson, who had been seen as a restraining influence on Trump, had clashed with the president over multiple foreign policy matters, including the Paris Climate Accord, the relocation of the U.S. embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, and the Iran nuclear deal.

After months of speculation about his future in the administration, Trump fired Tillerson just hours after the secretary of state had returned to Washington from a five-nation tour of Africa.

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  • hurricane46
    March 16, 2018 at 7:04 p.m.

    The rest of us are praying too, while that idiot is still in my WH.

  • GeneralMac
    March 16, 2018 at 7:41 p.m.

    hurricane46........there will be a new president in January of 2025.

  • glh05230944
    March 16, 2018 at 10:42 p.m.

    Hopefully, Mr. Tillerson's prayers will initiate additional prayers. It's against federal law to state or suggest that the trumpster, aka the pervert, aka the mentally ill potus, should be assassinated. But, thanks to our forefathers who wrote our constitution, there is no law prohibiting the substance of prayers of those who believe in prayer to a higher being, to pray that the life of the present potus be terminated. You cannot be prosecuted for your prayers.
    Personally, I am not praying for an aircraft crash or any thing else that would kill innocent people. I limit my prayers to physical matters, such as a heart attack (God's will). The time for prayer has come...

  • glh05230944
    March 16, 2018 at 11:04 p.m.

    Imposter Mac, Although I firmly believe that imposters, such as you, shouldn't be allowed to post using a false (and very likely a criminally illegal) posting name, I will agree that pervert trump will not be POTUS in 2025. The pervert will not be potus in January, 2019, if prayers are answered.

    I recommend that you abandon "General." As a veteran, I find it offensive. As a lawyer, I will be researching and reporting my findings to the Attorney General with respect to the legality of your posting name.

  • glh05230944
    March 16, 2018 at 11:16 p.m.

    Imposter Mac, I forgot to mention, in my prior post, that you show by the quality of your posted comments that you are not, and never were, a General. I doubt that you were an officer, and believe that you very likely never reached a rank higher than E-5, if you ever served in the armed forces.
    Shut it down as "General," and come back with something realistic.

  • DontDrinkDatKoolAid
    March 17, 2018 at 12:44 a.m.

    hurricane46, if it's your WH, go kick him out. We'll read about it here.

  • TimberTopper
    March 17, 2018 at 6:39 a.m.

    glh, I have ask the imposter on more than one occasion if he served and he has never responded. I expect him to be a dodger, the same as a few others on here. Amazing how tough and brave they are on here now, but were the opposite back then.

  • RobertBolt
    March 17, 2018 at 9:15 a.m.

    It represents what we would expect of a Russian troll, so I treat it as such - with a mixture of mockery and ignoring.

  • mrcharles
    March 17, 2018 at 10:41 a.m.

    I would hope that the tillerson family seek med help when sick instead of prayer. I know the vicar of the anointed one's ORGANIZATION on this planet prays annually for peace. The nuns of the Franciscan sisters in la Crosse Wisconsin in an unbroken 24/7 30 minute shift chain since 1878 pray FOR peace.

    Give tillerson credit he tried to bring some reason to the present king of no reason. Now the Armageddon brigade will be following the clear script of John book of dreams death spiral.

  • RobertBolt
    March 17, 2018 at 11:09 a.m.

    I agree, mrcharles. As has been said, nothing fails like prayer alone.