The Slatest

Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel Is Resigning Under Pressure From White House

Hagel on Nov. 15.

Photo by Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

Chuck Hagel is resigning as secretary of Defense after less than two years on the job, reports say, after failing to convince White House and Department of Defense officials of his competence. Said one senior administration official quoted by MSNBC (anonymously, of course): “He wasn’t up to the job.” From the New York Times:

The president, who is expected to announce Mr. Hagel’s resignation in a Rose Garden appearance on Monday, made the decision to ask his defense secretary — the sole Republican on his national security team — to step down last Friday after a series of meetings over the past two weeks, senior administration officials said.

The Times says Hagel never gained the respect and trust of Obama’s top advisers and that his tentative and inarticulate public manner was an embarrassment to the administration.

Hagel will remain in office until a successor is confirmed by the Senate. Former Undersecretary of Defense for Policy Michèle Flournoy and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter have been named in multiple reports as possible replacements.