After almost two years in the chief chair in the defense department, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his decision to resign from the post on Monday.
Calling Hagel a “steady hand” and “no ordinary defense secretary.” Obama announced Hagel’s decision at the White House with both the secretary and Vice President Joe Biden at his side.
Hagel, who was the sole Republican serving on President Obama’s cabinet and will remain until a successor is chosen to take his place. Hagel called his time as Defense Secretary “the biggest privilege of my life.”
Although White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said that the resignation was mutually agreed on, sources state that Hagel’s departure stems from “pressure” resulting from foreign policy crisis that have plagued the White House. Hagel had recently told colleagues that he felt shut out in the decision-making process on the Iraq-Syria issue. Those sources say that as a result of those comments by Hagel, Hagel was fired.
“The decision that was announced today is the result of conversations that the president and the secretary have been having for more than a month now,” said Earnest. “And as a result of these conversations the two of them arrived together at the determination that new leadership should take over at the Pentagon.”
Hagel is the former Nebraska Senator who served his state until 2009. Hagel replaced Leon Panetta, who stepped down in 2013.
YouTube video via MSNBC showing President Obama’s announcement can be seen below