Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Monday morning that he will resign as soon as a successor is confirmed. He has spent about 21 months in the cabinet role.
The president held a press conference Monday morning, flanked by Hagel and Vice President Joe Biden, to make the announcement. Obama often turned to speak directly to his outgoing defense secretary during the speech.
After the president spoke, Hagel took the podium to thank his colleagues and bosses and reinforce his commitment to the job until a successor is confirmed by the Senate.
Senior administration officials told The New York Times that the Republican Hagel wasn’t fired but decided over talks with the president that he should leave. Sources said Obama saw that "the threat from the Islamic State would require a different kind of skills than those that Mr. Hagel was brought on to employ," which was getting troops out of Afghanistan and managing the Pentagon’s budget.
Here’s how members of the media, reacted, speculated, and analyzed Biden’s facial expressions after news of Hagel’s resignation spread. The Hill carried a live stream of the announcement.
Obama now putting best face on forced resignation of @DeptofDefenseannouncing big Pentagon shakeup. #Hagel like others clashed w/ NSC— Andrea Mitchell (@mitchellreports) November 24, 2014
All headlines on the departure of Chuck #Hagel appear to have changed swiftly from "resignation" to "firing" or "forced departure"...— Philip Crowther (@PhilipinDC) November 24, 2014
Biden's face is so incredibly expressive.— Ben Smith (@BuzzFeedBen) November 24, 2014
Hagel's eyes appear watery.— Steven Dennis (@StevenTDennis) November 24, 2014
This is the most solemn and serious face I have ever seen Joe Biden make.— Sara Fischer (@sarafischer) November 24, 2014
Despite official line, it is clear Sec. Hagel was pushed out, #CNN is told from several sources. White House spinning as a mutual decision.— Will Ripley (@willripleyCNN) November 24, 2014
Chuck Hagel's face says it all: he looks sad. Biden doesn't look too happy either. Not a fun day.— Kathleen Hays (@Kathleen_Hays) November 24, 2014
Spox for Sen. Jack Reed tells hometown paper Reed doesn't want SecDef nomination. http://t.co/bxjyqEI82K— Aaron Mehta (@AaronMehta) November 24, 2014