President Obama is waiting to meet his top general in Afghanistan face-to-face after the general and his aides rip the president and other members of his national security team in a controversial article appearing in Rolling Stone magazine.
The commander-in-chief has summoned General Stanley McChrystal to the White House for a previously scheduled meeting in the Situation Room on Wednesday. Typically Gen. McChrystal would participate in the monthly meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan via secure video-conference, but Obama has demanded to see McChrystal in person.
In the article, McChrystal sheds light on many of his contentious relationships within the Obama administration. The piece notes examples where McChrystal’s team has said disparaging remarks about President Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Karl Eikenberry, and National Security Adviser Jim Jones. McChrystal acknowledges he voted for the president but sources recall that McChrystal also felt Obama looked "uncomfortable and intimidated" by a roomful of military brass.
In his comments about U.S. Ambassador Eikenberry, the general says he felt "betrayed" and was "blind-sided " by the ambassador's harsh criticism of McChrystal and his counter-insurgency war strategy, in a classified cable that was leaked to the New York Times earlier this year.
The article also recounts a conversation about Vice President Biden, who opposes the counter-insurgency plan. The general is quoted joking about Biden, "'Are you asking about Vice President Biden?' McChrystal says with a laugh. 'Who's that?'
'Biden?', suggests a top adviser. 'Did you say: bite me?'"
McChrystal has now fired Duncan Boothby, the press aide who booked the Rolling Stone interview.
An aide to McChrystal also calls National Security Adviser Jim Jones "a clown" who remains "stuck in 1985."
General McChrystal spoke to Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen on Monday. Mullen said he was extremely disappointed in what he read in the Rolling Stone story. He also spoke with Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman John Kerry, D-Mass., and Senate Armed Services ranking member John McCain, R-Ariz.
Early Tuesday McChrystal issued a statement of apology for his remarks:
"I extend my sincerest apology for this profile. It was a mistake reflecting poor judgment and should never have happened. Throughout my career, I have lived by the principles of personal honor and professional integrity. What is reflected in this article falls far short of that standard. I have enormous respect and admiration for President Obama and his national security team, and for the civilian leaders and troops fighting this war and I remain committed to ensuring its successful outcome."
Kelly Wright is a general assignment reporter for Fox News Channel (FNC), based in the Washington, D.C. bureau. He is also a co-host on "America's News Headquarters" on Saturdays (1:00-2:00 PM/ET). Wright previously served as a co-host on "Fox & Friends Weekend." Click here for more information on Kelly Wright.