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Obama Announces Hagel Resignation From Pentagon

File / Lauren Victoria Burke / AP
 

File / Lauren Victoria Burke / AP

9 A.M. (AP) - President Barack Obama says Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has concluded it's an "appropriate time" for him to complete his service.

Obama says Hagel will stay in place at the Pentagon until a successor is confirmed.

Hagel has had a rocky tenure of nearly two years in which he's struggled to break through the White House's insular foreign policy team. He stepped down under pressure amid multiple foreign policy crises, including the rise of the Islamic State group.

But in remarks at the White House Monday, Obama called Hagel "an exemplary defense secretary" and steady hand for strategy and budget. Obama said he'll always be grateful that Hagel has always "given it to me straight."

Hagel says the Obama administration has put the Defense Department and the United States on a stronger course toward stability and security.

Hagel is speaking at the White House after submitting a resignation letter Monday. He says he's "immensely proud" of what was accomplished during his tenure.

Hagel says the U.S. has prepared itself, its allies and Afghanistan's military for a successful transition. He says the U.S. has strengthened alliances and partnerships overseas while responding successfully to global crisis. And he says the Pentagon has launched important reforms that will prepare the military for future challenges.

Hagel is stepping down from President Barack Obama's Cabinet under pressure following a rocky tenure. He's committing to stay on the job until the Senate confirms his successor.

8 A.M. (AP) - Administration sources say that Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is resigning from President Barack Obama's Cabinet.

Hagel, a former Republican senator, has served as Pentagon chief since early 2013. Obama is expected to announce the resignation Monday.

The official insisted on anonymity because this person was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly ahead of Obama's official announcement.

A senior defense official said that Hagel submitted his resignation letter to Obama on Monday morning and the president accepted it. Hagel agreed to remain in office until his successor is confirmed by the Senate, the official said.

The official says that both Habel and Obama "determined that it was time for new leadership in the Pentagon." The official adds that they had been discussing the matter over a period of several weeks.