[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/12/02/art.gates1.gi.jpg caption="Obama wants Gates to stay on as Secretary of Defense."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Washington is full of seemingly obscure places where history is made. Deep Throat's parking garage, the balcony at Ford's Theater. Now you can add the fire station at Reagan National Airport.
That's where President-elect Barack Obama met secretly with Secretary of Defense Robert Gates to discuss the unprecedented idea of having Gates continue on in the Obama administration.
Reporters traveling with Obama on November 10 knew that he'd gone into the airport fire station after his visit with President Bush at the White House. What they never knew was who he was meeting in the fire station.
Tuesday at a briefing at the Pentagon, Gates spilled the beans.
"We did meet the day he came to Washington to meet with the President. We met when he went back to the airport. We actually met in the fire station at National Airport and they pulled the trucks out so that our cars could go in."
Earlier in the briefing Gates solved another mystery – whether he is indeed a Republican. It's long been suspected that he was a Republican, he's donate to party causes before and served for Republican presidents.
When a reporter asked his party affiliation, Gates said he considers himself a Republican, but not a registered one.
"I felt when I was at CIA that as a professional intelligence officer, like a military officer, I should be apolitical," Gates said Tuesday. "And so I didn't register with a party."
So how does a man who considers himself a Republican feel about working for the leader of the Democratic party?
"You know, the president-elect will be the eighth president I've worked for, and all I can say is I look forward to it," Gates said.