WASHINGTON, (AP) – Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, architect of an unpopular war in Iraq, intends to resign after six stormy years at the Pentagon, Republican officials said Wednesday.
Word came a day after the Democratic gains in the election, in which Rumsfeld was a focus of much of the criticism of the Iraq war. Officials said Robert Gates, former head of the CIA, would replace Rumsfeld.
Earlier today, a spokesman for Rumsfeld said he’d given no indication that he would step down in the wake of Democratic election gains. The spokesman said Rumsfeld would work with Congress on Iraq but added that the focus on stabilizing the country will remain the same.
In the days leading up to the election, President Bush said he wanted Rumsfeld to stay on as defense chief until the end of Bush’s second term.