Sources: Treasury secretary's resignation near
White House looking for 'acceptable alternative,' they tell CNN
From Suzanne Malveaux
John Snow has headed up the Treasury Department since February 2003.
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Administration officials and Republican insiders said Friday that Treasury Secretary John Snow's resignation announcement is imminent -- a matter of weeks or even days.
Treasury Department spokesman Tony Fratto refused to "comment or speculate on personnel issues," and White House press secretary Tony Snow would say only that President Bush is the one who makes personnel announcements.
But several GOP sources, including some former White House officials, said John Snow has told several White House officials he intends to resign. However, they said, Snow has not spoken to Bush about it.
At a news conference Thursday night, Bush -- asked whether Snow had given him "any indication that he intends to leave his job any time soon" -- said, "No, he has not talked to me about resignation. I think he's doing a fine job. After all, our economy is, it's strong. ... He's done a fine job."
But several current and past administration officials have said the president has been ready to replace Snow for the past year. They said the White House has been searching for an "acceptable alternative" but has had difficulty getting someone to accept the position.
In January, CNN confirmed that one of those who had refused the job was Time Warner CEO Dick Parsons.
A former White House official in frequent contact with Snow said that in December the secretary indicated he wanted to leave in early spring, though he agreed to stay until the White House found a replacement.
It is not clear whether Snow has set a timetable for his departure, sources said, or whether he is trying to nudge the president along to find a replacement. Sources would not confirm a Washington Post report that Snow's last day would be July 3.
Snow is due to leave June 8 for the G8 finance ministers summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. Sources said it is likely he would want to be in Washington, standing next to the president, when he announces his resignation, meaning that if he plans to make the announcement soon it would be either in the 10 days after the Memorial Day weekend and before the summit, or soon after he returns from the summit June 11.
Officials told CNN they do not feel it would weaken his position during the summit if his resignation were announced beforehand.
Possible replacement candidates
Several sources gave CNN the following assessments on people who have been mentioned as possible replacements for Snow:
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