WASHINGTON (CNN — Donald Rumsfeld is stepping down as defense secretary, President Bush announced Wednesday, a day after voters in the midterm elections expressed dissatisfaction over the handling of the war in Iraq.
Bush said he will nominate former CIA director Bob Gates to head the Pentagon. CNN’s Don Lemon spoke to Pentagon correspondent Jamie McIntyre to gauge to mood at the defense headquarters.
LEMON: Jamie, reaction from there?
MCINTYRE: well, don, I can tell you that this came as a bit of a surprise here at the Pentagon, considering the misdirection that President Bush gave last week when he indicated that he expected Donald Rumsfeld to stay till the end of his administration.
The president admitting today that during the last week he had been reconsidering the tenure of Donald Rumsfeld. And he actually had come to the decision, before yesterday’s election results were clear, that Donald Rumsfeld would be replaced, in his words one way or another, that Bob Gates would replace him, the former CIA director.
Most of the people at the Pentagon found out the news this morning as they came in to work during various briefings and phone calls that took place in the course of the morning. – cnn
Rumsfeld, 74, was in his second tour of duty as defence chief. He first held the job a generation ago, when he was appointed by President Ford. – guarduk
“Gates joined the CIA in 1966 and is the only agency employee to rise from an entry level job to the 7th floor director?s office. He served in the intelligence community for more than a quarter century, under six presidents.” – msnbc