Donald Rumsfeld Reveals What It's Like to Make an App

PHOTO:Former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld being interviewed for the documentary, "The Presidents Gatekeepers," May 17, 2012 in Washington. PlayDavid Hume Kennerly/Getty Images
WATCH Rumsfeld: 40+ Years Of Memories

Donald Rumsfeld -- yes, that Donald Rumsfeld -- has blazed an unlikely new career path as an app developer, releasing a high tech version of a card game called Churchill Solitaire.

The 83-year-old former secretary of defense said Sir Winston Churchill favored the card game, which he taught to a Belgian diplomat who in turn taught Rumsfeld how to play in 1973 when he was the U.S. ambassador to NATO.

"It’s a card game that can frustrate even the most skilled player because a single move can make or break an entire game. A number of hands are simply unwinnable. But the most steadfast players will gamely soldier on to find their way to victory," Rumsfeld wrote in a Medium post Sunday on which he explained his unlikely path from politician to app developer.

The way Rumsfeld describes it, Churchill Solitaire can be maddeningly difficult and requires a player to think several moves ahead. Unlike traditional solitaire, this game uses two decks and ten rows of cards. An additional row of cards, called the Devil's Six, also have to be liberated.

Rumsfeld said he taught his wife and a few other people but never imagined it would be turned into an app.

"I can't say I had much of an idea of what an app even was," he wrote.

PHOTO:Churchill Solitaire is seen on an iPad in this undated file photo. Churchill Solitaire
PHOTO:Churchill Solitaire is seen on an iPad in this undated file photo.

Rummy, as he was called by his last boss, George W. Bush, might not be a coder, but he said he did spend plenty of time in the trenches with the Churchill Solitaire team.

"I’ve spent countless hours on beta releases. I’ve signed off on something they call 'UX' [user experience]," he wrote. "I’ve put the game through its paces, offering suggestions and ideas to make it as closely resemble the game Churchill played."

After reviewing 172 builds of the app -- Churchill Solitaire is ready for iOS users to download and test their skills.

"I can’t say if this is the last app I’ll ever be involved in -- after all, I’m only 83!" Rumsfeld wrote. "But it is safe to say that Mark Zuckerberg has nothing to worry about."