RELIGION

Tillerson: Diplomats must be a team despite personal beliefs

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, accompanied by acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon, right, waves as he arrives to speak to State Department employees at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, center, accompanied by acting Secretary of State Tom Shannon, right, waves as he arrives to speak to State Department employees at the State Department in Washington, Thursday, Feb. 2, 2017. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)  (The Associated Press)

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."

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."

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