WASHINGTON — Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak could resign Thursday, bowing to the chief demand of 17 days of massive anti-regime protests, CIA Director Leon Panetta said.
“I got the same information you did, that there is a strong likelihood that Mubarak may step down this evening, which would be significant in terms of where, where the hopefully orderly transition in Egypt takes place,” Panetta told the House Intelligence Committee.
Panetta added that he had not received “specific word” that the embattled Egyptian leader would resign, only reports.
He was responding to a question about the crisis in Egypt during a hearing at which he, National Intelligence Director James R. Clapper and the heads of other U.S. intelligence agencies were presenting their annual assessment of threats to U.S. national security.
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In Egypt, state-run television announced that Mubarak would address the national from his palace on Thursday evening.