During a November 8 press conference, President Bush announced that Secretary of Defense Donald H. Rumsfeld was resigning. Bush's remarks came less than a week after he pledged that he would keep Rumsfeld on as defense secretary until the end of his presidency. When asked about the dramatic reversal by a reporter at the press conference, Bush claimed that he had said Rumsfeld was staying on because he "didn't want to inject a major decision about this war in the final days of a campaign," and later asserted that at the time of the November 2 press conference in which he expressed his support for Rumsfeld, he hadn't yet decided to replace Rumsfeld because he had not yet met with his eventual replacement, former CIA director Robert Gates.
In May, Bush similarly claimed that then-Treasury Secretary John Snow was "doing a fine job" and had given no "indication" that he would resign that position, even though it had already been determined that Snow was, in fact, leaving the administration and Hank Paulson had already been offered the job and accepted it, as the weblog Think Progress noted at the time.
Will the media note that this is not the first time Bush was caught in an apparent lie about whether a member of his Cabinet would continue to serve in his administration?