Gates defends Jones White House performance
Defense Secretary Robert Gates Monday took the unusual step of coming to the public defense of National Security Advisor James Jones against anonymous 'chatter' around Washington about Jones's job performance, CNN reported.
Gates' press secretary, Geoff Morrell, told reporters he personally "reached out" to Washington Post columnist David Ignatius to arrange an interview with Gates about Jones's White House tenure. Ignatius then wrote a column, essentially bringing the criticism into national view.
Jones has been the subject of news reports in recent weeks in which unnamed sources have been criticizing Jones and suggesting he has a lack of influence on the Obama national security team.
"There is, as you all are no doubt aware, a lot of chatter in Washington about the job that he is doing. And the secretary felt strongly enough that he wanted to be on the record as a guy who knows a lot about how the NSC [National Security Council] works and has worked with a great many national security advisers over the course of his career as saying that, in his estimation, at this point, Jones is up there with the best he's worked with," Morrell said.