Rumsfeld Says He Offered to Resign Twice

Rumsfeld Says He Offered to Resign Twice (AP)

Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld disclosed Thursday that he had offered President Bush his resignation twice during the height of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse scandal last year. He said he wanted the decision on his future to be placed in Bush’s hands. “He made that decision and said he did want me to stay on,” Rumsfeld told CNN’s “Larry King Live,” according to a transcript provided by CNN before the program aired Thursday.

In the CNN interview Rumsfeld asserted, as he has many times in the past, that as defense secretary he could not be expected to know all that takes place in war zones halfway around the world. But he also indicated that he could have done more to head off the trouble.

Interesting. Rumsfeld allowed, during the height of attention to Abu Graib, that the country might be better off if he resigned if things got much worse. Apparently, Bush didn’t think so.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Alex says:

    Rumsfeld did the right thing by offering to resign, and the President did the right thing in saying “Hell, no!”. Both are class acts, and just what we need. We’re fighting a war, but the democrats don’t get it (actually, what scares me is they do get it, but they want us to lose).