Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' Details His Take Inside the White House

Gates provides accounts and opinions that might not be well received by Washington insiders.
3:00 | 01/07/14

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Transcript for Former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' Details His Take Inside the White House
And now, we turn from the cold blast across the nation to another big story in the news tonight. The cold reception at the white house for a new book, which is peeling back the curtains on the white house windows, telling people what others real thought of each other inside. And the unlikely author is former secretary of defense robert gates, shaking things up. And abc chief white house correspondent, jonathan karl, tells us how. Reporter: For two years, he was the president's pointman on the most important national security decisions. The end of the war in iraq. The escalation of the war in afghan zan. He was there in the situation room the night bin laden was killed. But it turns out, then-defense secretary robert gates had deep misgivings about the president he served. In a soon-to-be published book, now leaking out gates writes that during one white house meeting on afghanistan -- I thought, the president doesn't trust his commander, can't stand karzai, doesn't believe his own strategy and doesn't consider the war to be his. For him, it's all about getting out. Gates, who calls himself a republican and also served as george w. Bush's defense secretary writes -- suspicion and distrust of senior military officers by senior white house officials, including the president and vice president, became a big problem for me. His harshest criticism is of vice president biden, who he calls a man of integrity but -- quote, I think he has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades. Gates says hilary clinton, then-secretary of state, shared some of his frustrations. The controlling nature of the obama white house, he writes, and it's determination to take credit for every good thing that happened while giving none to the career folks in the trenches who had actually done the work, offended secretary clinton as much as it did me. In response to all this, the white house has put out a statement tonight, praising bob gates for his service to the country. Saying that the president welcomes difference of opinion on his national security team. But when it comes to vice president biden, the statement says, the president strongly disagrees with gates' assessment. Saying that biden is, quote, one of the leading statesmen of his time. And, diane, gates also in his book acknowledges that on one of the biggest decisions, the bin laden raid, it was gates that was wrong. And it was the president, who he says, made one of the most courageous decisions he ever saw made in the white house. Thank you, jon. I don't think anyone expected this kind of book from secretary gates. Thank you.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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