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Wolfowitz Says He Will Keep Job At Pentagon

Saturday, January 8, 2005; Page A04

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul D. Wolfowitz sought yesterday to dampen speculation that he is leaving, saying he had been asked to stay on and intends to do so.

A leading proponent in the administration of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Wolfowitz has been a lightning rod for critics of the American involvement there.

Although President Bush made it clear last month that Donald H. Rumsfeld would be remaining as defense secretary, there had been no official word on Wolfowitz's future, stirring speculation that he might be under consideration for another administration job or might leave government service. The speculation heightened this week after Wolfowitz and Rumsfeld met Monday with Bush.

"I have been asked to stay and have accepted," Wolfowitz said yesterday in a brief statement issued through a spokesman. "I can't imagine life after Don Rumsfeld."

-- Bradley Graham

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