Outgoing Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Washington a "very mean-spirited town" in his goodbye address to State Department staff on Thursday.
"This can be a very mean spirited town," Tillerson said, as staff present at his remarks laughed and clapped.
"But you don't have to choose to participate in that," he added.
In Tillerson's brief speech ahead of his official departure at the end of the month, he told State Department employees to hold on to their integrity. "It belongs to you," Tillerson said. "Only you can relinquish it or allow it to be compromised."
President Donald Trump announced the firing of Tillerson last week via Twitter, and named CIA Director Mike Pompeo, who will need to be confirmed by the Senate, as his successor.