Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates says he admires the “unique” skill Watergate reporter Bob Woodward has for getting a source to “spill his guts” – and would have liked to have recruited the Washington Post reporter for the CIA.
"I think he's obviously a very astute journalist," Gates told Politico Thursday
"I would have really liked to recruit him for the CIA because he has an extraordinary ability to get otherwise responsible adults to spill his guts to him, on background, nothing there for the historians, but his ability to get people to talk about stuff they shouldn't be talked about is extraordinary and maybe unique."
But Gates said he was never Woodward’s regular go-to source.
"I would say very, very little, and very reluctantly,” Gates told Politico. “I talked to [Woodward] at the end of the Bush administration for his book on Bush
"But I … uniquely asked for the questions in advance and had a written record made of what was said and a witness in the room."
Gates said he didn’t want to wind up in the same situation as former CIA Director William Casey, whom Woodward claimed
to have interviewed him in the hospital.
"No deathbed confessions from me," Gates told Politico.
And though Gates admires Woodward’s journalistic skills, he was less enamored with his account of Gates’s new book, “Duty.”
"Let's just say that he had a narrative that he has expressed in his own writing about Obama and the wars in Afghanistan that he was determined to validate in his article on my book," Gates said.
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