Former Defense Secretary Bob Gates should have waited until President Obama was out of office to publish his new book critical of the administration, House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said this week.

Hoyer was quick to praise Gates's work at the helm of the Pentagon, and emphasized that he has a good personal relationship with the former Defense secretary. But he also argued that Gates contradicts himself in his assessment of Obama; makes "inaccurate" charges against Vice President Biden; and, based on the timing of the book's release, has created the impression – falsely, Hoyer said – that his motivations were political.

"I think, frankly, Secretary Gates would have been well disposed to perhaps wait to write this biography until the administration is over so it didn't look political in nature," Hoyer said Thursday during the taping of C-SPAN's "Newsmakers" program, which will air Sunday.

"I don't think it probably was political in nature, but Secretary Gates was very positive about the president to me and to others in private and in public when he was secretary of Defense."

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In his soon-to-be released memoir, Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War, Gates takes shots at Obama's approach to the Afghanistan war, writing that the president, as far back as 2010, “doesn’t believe in his own strategy, and doesn’t consider the war to be his."

"I never doubted Obama's support for the troops," Gates writes, according to reports, "only his support for their mission."

Hoyer said he found the criticisms to be "somewhat contradictory, in the sense that he was, in many parts of the book, positive in his comments and observations about President Obama, about his convictions, about his abilities, about his openness to listening."

Gates, who was first appointed under former President George W. Bush, also minced no words when it came to sizing up Biden, saying the vice president is "a man of integrity" who nonetheless "has been wrong on nearly every major foreign policy and national security issue over the past four decades.” 

The White House pushed back hard against that judgment this week. And Hoyer piled on, saying he was "disappointed" with the assessment.

"He was very negative [about] Vice President Biden, and I thought that was, A, incorrect on the facts and, B, unfortunate because I think Vice President Biden ... has been a very positive partner within the Obama administration."

Still, Hoyer said he intends to take a closer look at the book when it's released.

"Secretary Gates, I'm sure, has a lot of worthwhile things to say, most of which will not be covered by the press," Hoyer said. "So, yeah, I think I'm going to take a look at it and see what his observations are on Iraq, on Iran, Syria [and] some other ... issues on which I would be interested in his views."

Gates's book is due to be released on Jan. 14. 

C-Span's "Newsmakers" will air Sunday at 10 a.m. and again at 6 p.m.