The Associated Press reports that President Bush has accepted Donald Rumsfeld’s resignation.
Flashback to one week ago:
President Bush said Wednesday he wants Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Vice President Dick Cheney to remain with him until the end of his presidency, extending a job guarantee to two of the most-vilified members of his administration.
“Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them,” Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.
UPDATE: AP reports that Rumsfeld’s replacement will be Robert Gates, a former CIA Director (1991–93) and National Security Council official. He is currently the President of Texas A&M; University.
UPDATE II: Robert Gates is a member of the Iraq Study Group, the bipartisan panel co-chaired by James Baker III and Lee Hamilton to develop a new strategy for Iraq. In Feb. 2005, Gates turned down an offer to serve as the Director of National Intelligence, the position now held by John Negroponte.
UPDATE III: Rumsfeld made no mention of resignation during meetings today. AP (published before the resignation announcement):
Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a key target of Iraq war critics, gave no indication Wednesday that he planned to step down in the wake of Democratic midterm election gains, his chief spokesman said.
Eric Ruff, the Pentagon press secretary, said he participated in meetings with Rumsfeld on Wednesday morning and heard no talk of changing war strategies or of Rumsfeld leaving his post.