WASHINGTON — CIA Director George Tenet has resigned, citing personal reasons, President Bush said Thursday.
Tenet’s resignation takes effect in mid-July, after which Deputy Director John McLaughlin will become the agency’s acting chief, Bush told reporters at the White House.
Bush said that Tenet informed him of his decision Wednesday night.
Bush said Tenet had done “a superb job for the American people.”
“He has been a strong and able leader at the agency,” Bush said.
“He has been a strong leader in the war on terror and I will miss him.”
He had faced heavy criticism over the September 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington, and on the war in Iraq, in which pre-invasion U.S. estimates that Iraq was amassing stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction now appear to have been incorrect.
Bush made the announcement before boarding Marine One for a flight to Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland. He is on his way to Europe, where he will attend ceremonies marking the 60th anniversary of the D-Day invasion in World War II.
Tenet was sworn in as the Director of Central Intelligence on July 11, 1997 by President Clinton.
A native New Yorker, Tenet holds a degree in foreign service from Georgetown University and in international affairs from Columbia University.