Adm. Mike Mullen indicated Wednesday that despite his reputation, Rahm Emanuel's reported fondness for four-letter words is overblown.

At a Christian Science Monitor breakfast, the Chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff described Emanuel as “incisive,” “direct,” “engaged” and “actually” not profane.

The White House chief of staff, who is expected to soon announce he will leave the White House to launch a bid for mayor of Chicago, has been known to use foul language at times.

Mullen was pressed on Emanuel on Wednesday. In Bob Woodward's new book, "Obama's Wars," Mullen and Emanuel are depicted at odds over the troop surge in Afghanistan.

But Mullen complimented Emanuel, saying that the former lawmaker made significant contributions to the administration.