TODAY | January 08, 2014
>> let's go to washington now where the white house is pushing back against an upcoming memoir that is highly critical of the obama administration. its author, the president's former defense secretary robert gates . andrea mitchell is nbc's chief foreign affairs correspondent.
>> good morning, matt. in the memoir to be published next week, bob gates unloads on the president, vice president, and on their former national security team. in published reports authenticated from nbc news from people who have read the book.
>> i asked secretary robert gates to continue as secretary of defense. and i'm pleased he's accepted.
>> president obama 's decision to keep george bush 's defense secretary , a republican has blown back on the white house . in bob gates ' new memoir "duty," he calls the obama white house the most centralized and controlling since the nixon years. while gates credits president obama 's decisions on afghanistan, he said the president didn't believe in his own strategy. recalling after one meeting, i thought the president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand karzai, doesn't believe in his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his. for him, it's all about getting out. a far cry from what gates told matt in 2009 on "today."
>> i think we're all on the same page.
>> gates is particularly tough on vice president biden writing i think he's been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. and gates blasts tom donalin and his team. while gates praises former secretary of state hillary clinton , he said he was dismayed to hear she told the president she opposed the surge in 2007 because she was running against mr. obama .
>> i think some of his comments about obama and about secretary clinton will persist, they'll come back, they'll be used by republicans.
>> but gates gave no hint of his resentment when he left the cabinet two years ago and president obama awarded him the medal of freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor.
>> i'm deeply honored and moved.
>> stunned by the criticism, the white house has issued a statement saying the president deeply appreciates bob gates ' service and welcomes differences of view but disagrees with the assessment, especially of biden whom the white house hailed as one of the leading statesmen of his