Gen. Stanley McChrystal has been ordered to come to the White House on Wednesday to explain comments that appeared in Rolling Stone magazine criticizing the president and top administration officials.
McChrystal, the commander of U.S. troops in Afghanistan, was summoned to Washington after excerpts from the article were published. The article depicts McChrystal and his staff as being extremely critical of President Barack Obama and members of the Obama administration.
McChrystal issued an apology for the article late Monday.
"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile," McChrystal said in a statement. "It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened.
"Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal
and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far
short of that standard," McChrystal said. "I have
enormous respect and admiration for President ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaDemocrats make final plea for voting rights ahead of filibuster showdown Biden nominates Jane Hartley as ambassador to UK To boost economy and midterm outlook, Democrats must pass clean energy bill MORE and his national
security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this
war, and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome."
Criticism of McChrystal's comments echoed across the political landscape on Tuesday.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said McChrystal made a "significant mistake and exercised poor judgement" in the interview.
"Our troops and coalition partners are making extraordinary sacrifices on
behalf of our security, and our singular focus must be on supporting
them and succeeding in Afghanistan without such distractions," said Gates. "Gen.
McChrystal has apologized to me and is similarly reaching out to others
named in this article to apologize to them as well."
Gates did not say whether he would recommend that McChrystal be relieved of duty, but said he wants to discuss the article in person.
Rep. David Obey (D-Wis.), chairman of the House Appropriations Committee called for McChrystal to be removed from his Afghanistan command.
he actually said half of what is being reported, he shouldn’t be in the
position he is in," Obey said in a statement.
Sens. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainRedistricting reform key to achieving the bipartisanship Americans claim to want Kelly takes under-the-radar approach in Arizona Senate race Voting rights, Trump's Big Lie, and Republicans' problem with minorities MORE (R-Ariz.) and Lindsey GrahamLindsey Olin GrahamKyrsten Sinema's courage, Washington hypocrisy and the politics of rage Hillicon Valley: Amazon's Alabama union fight — take two McConnell will run for another term as leader despite Trump's attacks MORE (R-S.C.), two leading
Republicans on military matters, together with Sen. Joe Lieberman
(I-Conn.) in a statement called the comments "inappropriate and
inconsistent with the traditional relationship between
The three senators did not call for McChrystal's firing, however, saying that was a decision that President Barack Obama has to make.
Sen. John KerryJohn KerryA presidential candidate pledge can right the wrongs of an infamous day Equilibrium/Sustainability — Dam failures cap a year of disasters Four environmental fights to watch in 2022 MORE (D-Mass.), the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told MSNBC that McChrystal showed "bad judgment" in making the comments but also deflected questions on whether the general should step down, saying that was a decision for Obama and McChrystal.
In the Rolling Stone article, McChrystal was directly quoted as saying he felt "betrayed" by Eikenberry.
Referring to a leaked cable from Eikenberry about Afghan President Hamid
Karzai, McChrystal said, "Here's one that covers his
flank for the history books. Now if we fail, they can say, 'I told you
An anonymous McChrystal aide is also quoted as calling Jones, the national security adviser, a "clown from 1985."
The Rolling Stone piece quotes an aide to the general expressing a lack of confidence in Holbrooke's ability to stay on the job.
“The boss says he’s like a wounded animal," a McChrystal aide says in the piece, as reported by The New York Times. "Holbrooke keeps hearing rumors that he’s going to be fired, so that makes him dangerous.”
general has been called to appear at the White House in person for a normally scheduled weekly meeting. Reports have
indicated McChrystal's job could be on the line, especially after
reported tension between the administration and McChrystal in the past.
According to reports in October 2009, the White House was angered by a
speech the general made ahead of the Afghan troop decision, as well as leaks about
the administration's Afghanistan strategy. The White House's key
complaint at the time was that McChrystal seemed to be trying to box it in
politically to get support for a large troop surge.
The Rolling Stone article is due to hit newsstands on Friday.
This story was posted at 7:28 a.m. and updated at 9:40 a.m., 12:35 p.m., and 1:19 p.m.