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Former Pentagon chief: White House tried to ’destroy me’

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Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says White House aides tried to personally destroy him
Former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel says White House aides tried to personally destroy him
In an interview with Foreign Policy, Hagel opened up about his tenure in the administration, discussing the uncertainty over Syria strategy and accusing the White House of micromanaging the Pentagon, echoing similar criticisms from predecessors Robert Gates and Leon Panetta.
Tension between Hagel and other officials in President Obama’s inner circle surfaced publicly last year, as the then-Defense chief and the White House disagreed over a number of policy initiatives.
White House aides criticized him in a November 2014 New York Times report, claiming he was mostly silent in meetings in the Situation Room and made a decision on Guantánamo that annoyed Rice.
“They already had my resignation, so what was the point of just continuing to try to destroy me?” Hagel told Foreign Policy.
“I don’t know what the purpose was," he said of what he views as backstabbing by White House aides. "To this day, I’m still mystified by that. But I move forward. I’m proud of my service."
Hagel told the magazine that there is "no question in my mind" that Obama’s decision in 2013 to stand down after Syrian President Bashar Assad crossed his "red line" of using chemical weapons "hurt the credibility of the president’s word."

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