Former secretary of defense Robert Gates spoke on the Today Show Monday morning, saying that while he was “not really surprised” by the reaction to his memoir, he was upset with the politicization of it.
“In a way I was disappointed that the book has been hijacked by people along the political spectrum to serve their own purposes, taking quotes out of context,” Gates said. “It’s part of the political warfare in Washington that I decry in the book.”
While media attention has focused on Gates’s critique of Hillary Clinton and President Obama, Gates said that he thinks the book is “very evenhanded.” “I don’t vilify anybody,” he added.
Gates also rejected the idea that Obama’s opposition to Iraq was political. He had written in his book that the “president conceded vaguely [to Hillary Clinton] that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political,” but clarified the statement in his interview: “The president conceded that a lot of the opposition to the surge had been political. He never said that his opposition had been political.”