‘WASHINGTON (AP)— A furious President Barack Obama weighed whether to fire his Afghan war commander at a perilous time in the conflict as he summoned Gen. Stanley McChrystal to Washington to explain disparaging comments about his political masters.
McChrystal’s complaints about his commander in chief and Obama’s aides put his job in jeopardy. Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs said Tuesday “the magnitude and greatness of the mistake here are profound” and repeatedly declined to say McChrystal’s job was safe. “All options are on the table,” he said.
Defense Secretary Robert Gates said the commander’s comments in Rolling Stone magazine were “distractions” to the war in Afghanistan.
McChrystal publicly apologized Tuesday for using “poor judgment” in interviews for the magazine. He then left Afghanistan to appear, as ordered by Obama, at the White House on Wednesday.
He’ll be expected to explain his comments to the president and Pentagon officials who, as Gibbs put it, want “to see what in the world he was thinking.” The presidential spokesman said Obama acknowledged McChrystal’s apology and believed he deserved a chance to explain himself.”