During his round of phone calls to top officials of the Obama administration whom he and his team disparaged to a Rolling Stone reporter, Gen. Stanley McChrystal said, "I've compromised the mission," a senior administration source tells ABC News.
Whether he did so irrevocably is at the top of the agenda in his Oval Office meeting with President Obama this morning. The president will press him as to what he was thinking and whether he still has the ability to serve as commander of 100,000 US troops in Afghanistan after making remarks about the president and his national security team that the general could use to justifiably fire any of his underlings if they were made about him.
"He'll have to have some pretty good answers to some tough questions," a senior White House official tells ABC News.
McChrystal will have a legitimate opportunity to make his case to keep his job, officials said.
Officials described the reaction within the West Wing as immediate anger and certainly that McChrystal be fired, followed by a willingness to hear the counterargument given the importance of the war, its perilous state, the fact that the story revealed no policy disagreements, how closely tied McChrystal is with the current strategy, and the fact that Gen. David McKiernan was dismissed from the same job last Summer.
But if McChrystal by his own admission has compromised the mission, where does that leave him?
- Jake Tapper