WASHINGTON (AP) — CIA chief Leon Panetta took some knocks in the press for predicting Thursday that Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak could step down that day. Turns out he was just early. Mubarak quit Friday.
A senior intelligence official says Panetta was referring to press reports when he told Congress on Thursday that he'd heard Mubarak might leave by nightfall.
But the official, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss matters of intelligence, also says the agency was predicting two scenarios Thursday.
The CIA thought Mubarak would transfer authority to his vice president and could resign. Mubarak did the first on Thursday but stunned and disappointed U.S. officials when he didn't do the second right away.
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