WASHINGTON — Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel will step down from his position at the request of President Barack Obama, who is seeking to reassure critics of his foreign policy with the move, a senior administration official confirmed to CNN Monday.
The New York Times reported Monday that Obama is expected to appear in the Rose Garden on Monday to announce Hagel’s resignation, having asked him to step down last Friday.
The move, White House officials told the Times, was meant to acknowledge that the new national security threats facing the nation — most notably the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria — call for different capabilities than those possessed by Hagel.
“The next couple of years will demand a different kind of focus,” an administration official told the paper.
A critic of the Iraq war, Hagel was brought on to oversee withdrawal from Afghanistan and…
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