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Gates: Obama, Hillary Said Opposition to Iraq Surge Was 'Political'

3:37 PM, Jan 7, 2014 • By MICHAEL WARREN
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Robert Gates, the former defense secretary under both Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, writes in a new memoir that both Obama and Hillary Clinton, who was Secretary of State at the time, told Gates that their 2007 opposition to the surge of troops in Iraq was based on political considerations. Both Obama and Clinton were sitting senators running for the Democratic nomination during the debate over the surge. Bob Woodward reports:

Gates offers a catalogue of various meetings, based in part on notes that he and his aides made at the time, including an exchange between Obama and then-Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton that he calls “remarkable.”

He writes: “Hillary told the president that her opposition to the [2007] surge in Iraq had been political because she was facing him in the Iowa primary. . . . The president conceded vaguely that opposition to the Iraq surge had been political. To hear the two of them making these admissions, and in front of me, was as surprising as it was dismaying.”

Read Woodward's report here.

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