Washington, D.C. President Bush retains "full confidence" in Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, a top White House official said Sunday, responding to newly published allegations that Rumsfeld has mismanaged the Iraq war and alienated senior members of the Bush administration with his autocratic personal style.
"The president has full confidence in Secretary Rumsfeld," White House counselor Dan Bartlett told ABC's "This Week," one of three appearances he made on the Sunday talk shows.
"He is doing an enormously difficult job fighting a war," Bartlett said of the embattled Defense secretary. "We recognize that he has his critics. We recognize that he's made some very difficult decisions. Some people don't like his bedside manner."
While traveling to Nicaragua for a meeting with Latin American defense ministers, Rumsfeld told the Associated Press on Sunday that he was not considering resigning and that the president had "called me personally" to express his support.
Bartlett's remarks came in response to "State of Denial," a new book by Bob Woodward that features many anecdotes that cast the administration in an unfavorable light on issues of national security.