Best Defense

Thomas E. Ricks' daily take on national security.

Washington whispers: Gates to replace Jones?

I am picking up the vibe that some powerful people want to have Defense Secretary Robert Gates move over to the White House to replace retired Marine Gen. James Jones as national security advisor. Maybe this is the reason Gates made pro-Jones comments to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius the other day. “I think of ...

585005_090611_gatesjones2.jpg
585005_090611_gatesjones2.jpg

I am picking up the vibe that some powerful people want to have Defense Secretary Robert Gates move over to the White House to replace retired Marine Gen. James Jones as national security advisor.

Maybe this is the reason Gates made pro-Jones comments to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius the other day. "I think of Jim as the glue that holds this team together," Gates said.

I am picking up the vibe that some powerful people want to have Defense Secretary Robert Gates move over to the White House to replace retired Marine Gen. James Jones as national security advisor.

Maybe this is the reason Gates made pro-Jones comments to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius the other day. “I think of Jim as the glue that holds this team together,” Gates said.

UPDATE: Pentagon spokesman Geoff Morrell pinged me to denounce this item. “It’s utterly and completely absurd,” he said. “There is not a grain of truth to it.”

It always makes me wonder when spokespeople speak with absolute certitude. So I asked the ascocarpish Morrell what made him so sure, and he said it is because he works closely with Gates and talks to people at the White House all the time. We’ll see. Maybe he isn’t talking to the right people.  

JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images

Thomas E. Ricks covered the U.S. military from 1991 to 2008 for the Wall Street Journal and then the Washington Post. He can be reached at ricksblogcomment@gmail.com. Twitter: @tomricks1

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