Oct 1, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Former Afghanistan commander Stanley McChrystal endorses Joe Biden

Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorsed former Vice President Joe Biden for president on MSNBC Thursday.

Why it matters: McChrystal came under fire in 2010 during the Obama administration after a Rolling Stone article quoted him as mocking some top civilian officials — including Biden. The general apologized to Biden but was ultimately pushed to resign.

  • The general wrote in a 2010 statement on his resignation that he continued to "strongly support the president's strategy in Afghanistan" and that it was out of respect for the mission that he resigned.

What they're saying: McChrystal first endorsed Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.) in the 2020 Democratic primaries. He told MSNBC on Thursday that he's always had respect for President Obama and Biden, and that the 2010 event was "more smoke than fire."

  • "I think my willingness to endorse him now should signal to people that there was a respectful relationship then and just how important I think it is to replicate that kind of relationship between senior military leaders now."

McChrystal continued: "I worked most closely with President Obama and Vice President Biden when I commanded in Afghanistan, and I had policy differences at times. ... But in every instance, they listened. In every instance, they took in my view."

  • "In every instance, I felt that they were trying to make the best decision based on all the information they had and based upon a bedrock of values."

Between the lines: McChrystal's endorsement comes weeks after The Atlantic reported that President Trump called members of the military "suckers," drawing major backlash.

His bottom line: "We have to believe in our values. You have to believe that your commander and chief, at the end of the day, is someone that you can trust, and I can trust Joe Biden," McChrystal said.

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