Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates recently wrote a tell-all book that slams Congress, President Obama, and several members of the Obama administration. Over at msnbc.com, Sarah Muller highlighted some of Gates’ criticisms in a Tuesday article. However, Muller did not mention Gates’ major criticism of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
In fact, Muller outright lied when she wrote this: “Gates has nothing but nice things to say about former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. ‘I found her smart, idealistic but pragmatic, tough-minded, indefatigable, funny, a very valuable colleague, and a superb representative of the United States all over the world.’”
It’s true that Gates mostly praised Clinton in his book. However, he also disclosed one striking piece of information about her.
Gates wrote that Clinton admitted during a meeting that she opposed the 2007 troop surge in Iraq for political reasons; specifically, she was facing an imminent challenge in the 2008 Iowa caucus from then-Senator Barack Obama, who had opposed the Iraq War from the start. (Mrs. Clinton initially supported the war when she was a senator.)
Gates then revealed that President Obama “vaguely” admitted that he had opposed the surge for political reasons as well. Muller also passed over that tidbit in her article.
The Hill newspaper reported on Gates’ reaction to those confessions:
"The former Pentagon chief said hearing the admissions from the president and secretary of State was ‘as surprising as it was dismaying."
So Gates did not have “nothing but nice things to say” about Hillary Clinton in his book. He is not MSNBC, after all. Muller’s article looks like an effort to downplay anything that makes Mrs. Clinton look bad. As the likeliest 2016 Democratic presidential nominee at this point, she is MSNBC’s next great hope. They will likely try to protect her at all costs over the next three years.