March 2, 1987 With great regret I have agreed to Robert Gates' request that his name be withdrawn as the nominee to be Director of Central Intelligence. I met with Bob this afternoon. He asked me to withdraw his nomination rather than proceed with extended consideration by the Senate.
I have asked Bob to continue serving as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence under the new Director, and I look forward to working with him during the next 2 years. He is a remarkably talented and dedicated man, who has served five Presidents with great professional skill and integrity. I have been impressed with the class he has shown under the enormous pressures of recent weeks. At any other time, I am certain that he would easily have been confirmed without delay. It is clear that at this point confirmation proceedings would not be in the interest of the CIA or the Nation. Mr. Gates has done an outstanding job as Acting Director and will continue to serve in this capacity until a new Director is confirmed.