President Barack Obama made his only public comment on the Gen. Stanley McChrystal situation Tuesday when a small news media group was ushered into the Cabinet Room where he was meeting with administration officials to discuss a range of issues.
At the end of Obama's comments on the economy and the continued response to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, president Obama responded to a question about McChrystal:
REPORTER: Mr. President, will McChrystal be fired, Mr. (sic) McChrystal?
OBAMA: Gen McChrystal is on his way here. And I am going to meet with him. Secretary Gates will be meeting with him as well.
I think it’s clear that the article in which he and his team appear showed poor judgment. but I also wanted to make sure that I talk with him directly before I make any decisions. All right?
That appeared to be the cue for the White House media handlers to begin herding the news media from the Cabinet Room. But then the president started up again.
OBAMA: Actually, let me make one last point about this.
Even as Gen. McChrystal is on his way here, I want everybody to keep in mind what our central focus is. And that is success in making sure that al Qaida and its affiliates cannot attack the U.S. and its allies. And we’ve got young men and women there who are making enormous sacrifices, families back home who are making enormous sacrifices. So 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 men and women are making over there and that ultimately makes this country safer. I know Sec. Gates feels the exact same way. All right?