President Obama this morning will meet one-on-one with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan, after summoning him to the White House following the major dust-up over the general’s comments to Rolling Stone.
On Tuesday, Mr. Obama was asked if he was going to fire McChrystal over his remarks.
“I’m going to meet with him. Secretary Gates will meet with him as well. I think it’s clear that the article in which he and his team appeared showed poor judgment. But I also want to make sure I talk to him directly before I make any final decisions,” Obama said. “Whatever decision I make with respect to Gen. McChrystal or any other aspect of Afghan policy is determined entirely on how I can make sure that we have a strategy that justifies the enormous courage and sacrifice that those young men and women are making over there and that ultimately makes this country safer.”
Following their private meeting in the Oval Office, both men will join the rest of the president’s national security team for a previously scheduled meeting on Afghanistan and Pakistan in the Situation Room.
The participants will be:
Vice President Joe Biden
Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
Timothy Geithner, Secretary of the Treasury
Robert Gates, Secretary of Defense
Rahm Emanuel, Chief of Staff
General James Jones, National Security Advisor
Tom Donilon, Deputy National Security Advisor
John Brennan, Homeland Security and Counterterrorism Advisor
Susan Rice, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
David Gompert, Acting Director of National Intelligence
Leon Panetta, Director of the Central Intelligence Agency
Rajiv Shah, Administrator, USAID
James Steinberg, Deputy Secretary of State
Adm. Michael Mullen, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Gen. James Cartwright, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Ambassador Richard Holbrooke, Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Doug Lute, Coordinator for Afghanistan and Pakistan
John Tien, Senior Director for Afghanistan and Pakistan
Gen. David Petraeus, U.S. Central Command
Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Commander, International Security Assistance Force and Commander, U.S. Forces Afghanistan
Karl Eikenberry, U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan (via videoconference)
Anne Patterson, U.S. ambassador to Pakistan (via videoconference)
In the afternoon, the President will have lunch with a small group of senators in the Old Family Dining Room. The White House did not disclose which senators would be dining with the president.
Later, the President and first lady Michelle Obama will attend an event on the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Nutrition at Columbia Heights Educational Campus. ABC’s Karen Travers reports the president is expected to announce his chair and vice chair of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports (PCPFS).
Later in the afternoon, the President has a series of closed-door meetings with Secretary of State Clinton and then a group of senior advisors, both in the Oval Office.
Mr. Obama had scheduled to have a meeting with a bipartisan group of senators to “discuss the process for passing comprehensive energy and climate legislation this year,” but the meeting has been postponed.
– Sunlen Miller