Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Step Down

Lone Republican in President Obama's cabinet to resign after nearly two years in office.
4:10 | 11/24/14

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Transcript for Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to Step Down
The senior administration official confirming to ABC news that. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel is expected to step down out of that official announcement expected to come later to later this morning from the president we want to go now. To the White House were married Bruce standing by with the very latest Mary. Good morning Michelle that's right the president we now know will be coming out later this morning about. 11:10 AM delivering a statement here in the state dining room announcing that secretary eagles' Defense Secretary after serving for. Just under two years will be stepping down now remember. Secretary Nicholas of course the only sole Republican on the president's national security team and cementing hasn't been serving in this role too long but when you consider the challenges that he has faced of course this comes. As the US and this administration. Tries to tackle the threat from ice is lots of questions of course. Surrounding how that threat was able to ask Lee to to rise to the level that it is now a lot of those questions. Where Moore posed directly to secretary Italy now course. No he will be stepping down. So merry with this critical sort of time period why now. Yet the timing is certainly interesting write me we know from a senior administration official tells us that that secretary needle came to the president. To discuss this matter several weeks ago back in October last month. Now of course coming out in announcing his resignation we should say though. That that hagel will continue on in the role until his replacement has found now of course this news breaks and it'll stepping down everyone wondering who will be his replacement but. He has been mentioned the timing comes as the US in his administration tries to tackle so many of these threats of a broad. First and foremost of course the threat from license. Gives an idea what secretary of defense hagel has been. Known for over these last two years there's been a lot for him to take Caro. Certainly a very full plate he's kind of known as a quieter presence here you've seen that especially as he's testified on Capitol Hill over the past two years. Sort of at a calming presence but but again so many large threats have been on his plate in this sort of shows a shows an interest and of course this administration to try and shake up some of the staffing as we head into. The key final two years this administration and what could the climate be when the president is trying to sort of appoint a new secretary of defense. Yeah of course that is a very difficult political climate for the president is that. As new lawmakers come in of course now Republicans in control. Appear on the other side of Pennsylvania Avenue it will likely be. An uphill battle of course depends on who the president names to it to succeed secretary it'll but you know of course is also comes. As as Republicans have been threatening to block any of the president's nomination sort of an in retaliation for his decision to take unilateral action on immigration reform. I would suspect that we will see a fight over whoever the president. Decides to it to named to replace secretary what are we hearing about the timing of this resignation those are something that led up to this isn't something that they've been discussing for some time or is this a surprise. Well we you know it hasn't sort of rumor around here but we haven't seen any. Any concrete indication of it you know it's not unusual for the president to shake up his his cabinet especially in these final two years but. But again the timing is interesting and has been apparently something that. That secretary Gil the president have been discussing for weeks but but we don't know yet too much about how this this decision came about of course. We're just learning about it now John and of course the president laid later this morning expected to come out. Come out and make that official what else we expected to hear. What can we will see secretary haggle with him as well not sure yet whether we'll we'll hear from secretary hazel as well but. You know I think what we'll see them both standing side by side I suspect and hear the president he lots of praise on secretary Hickel for the for the work that he has done here it in serving his administration in the country. All right Mary Bruce at the White House watching a story thank you very much for giving us an update. And again the president later this morning expected to officially announced that secretary of defense Chuck Hagel will be stepping down from his post we will have that. All for you as it develops for now I'm Michelle Franzen New York.

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

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