In a particularly unusual occurrence, outgoing Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was a no-show Friday at President Barack Obama‘s announcement of Ashton Carter as his new Pentagon chief.
Typically when a president nominates someone new for a top-level Cabinet position, the outgoing member shows up at the announcement to lend his or her support for the successor. That did not happen today.
There had been reports that a White House official said Hagel simply “wasn’t up to the job,” but Hagel said this week that he and President Obama had “no major differences” that led to his resignation, and that the decision was mutual.
“We both came to the conclusion that I think the country was best served with new leadership,” Hagel said. “He thought it was … over at this institution after we had talked through it.”
A Politico piece also cited an administration official who told them that Vice President Joe Biden was “ticked off” at how Hagel was being treated by the White House. Interestingly enough, Biden was by the president’s side today.
Meanwhile, CBS’s Mark Knoller reported Friday morning that Hagel “believes strongly” that today belongs to Carter.
Watch the report from CNN, below:
[Image via screengrab]
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[Note: Mediaite intern Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.]
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