ROBERT GATES: I think the book is clear that when the president responded to Hillary's comments that he was vaguely agreeing that opposition to the surge broadly had been political. And I absolutely believe that, having lived through that in the spring of 2007 up on the Hill. There are two things that made me remember what Hillary had said.
The first was that I was on the opposite side of the table. Admiral Mullen and I used to joke, particularly in the first months of the Obama administration, when kind of every meeting in The Situation Room, everybody would trash the Bush administration and everything the Bush team. You know, what a bunch of bums the Bush team were and everything. And we're sitting there thinking, what, are we invisible? We were integral members of that team, and so the fact that she would say something like that.
But the other thing that struck me, and I guess made an impact on me, was because it was an anomaly. I never in the whole two and a half years we served together, that was the only time I ever heard Secretary Clinton ever mention domestic politics in terms of her views or recommendations on decisions for the president. And the irony is, she used that reference because she was very strongly with me in supporting the surge in Afghanistan, against the recommendations of the White House staff and the vice president.