White House Press Secretary Jay Carney faced reporters this afternoon, with the main topic of conversation being the explosive claims contained in a new book by former Defense Secretary Robert Gates.


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In "Duty," Gates questions President Obama's wartime decision-making, claiming that Obama never believed in the Afghanistan strategy even as he ordered more troops to deploy.

He also criticized Obama's national security team for routinely calling military commanders, calling it "unthinkable."

In another anecdote that could have repercussions for the 2016 election, Gates recounts a private conversation between then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Obama.

“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.”

Gates also singled out Joe Biden, saying he has been "wrong on nearly every foreign policy and national security decision of the last four decades."

Carney defended Biden, calling him "one of the great statesmen of his time." Carney said Biden has played a key role in every major national security and foreign policy debate in the White House.

He went on to say that President Obama "greatly appreciates" Gates' service to the country and his administration. Carney pointed out that Obama sought to create a "team of rivals" when he took office and expected to hear competing points of view on many issues.


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Watch the press conference in the videos below.

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3