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Video: Retired 4-star Gen. Stanley McChrystal endorses Biden for president

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates meets with Gen. Stanley McChrystal, Commander of International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) and Commander of U.S. Forces in Afghanistan, in Istanbul, Turkey, Feb. 4, 2010.(Cherie Cullen/Department of Defense)
October 02, 2020

Retired four-star U.S. Army Gen. Stanley A. McChrystal endorsed Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden for president on Thursday, saying the next commander in chief needs to be “someone that you can trust, and I can trust Joe Biden.”

McChrystal, appearing for an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” with Joe Scarborough, endorsed Biden and said Biden, “is humble enough to listen to experts, is humble enough to respect people who serve and have served.”

“I think that [Biden] would surround himself with an effective team of good people, I think he would set a tone in which he would bring out the best of people,” McChrystal said. “Again, not everyone will agree with every policy, nobody ever will, and that’s healthy in a democracy. But we have to believe in our values, you have to believe that your commander in chief at the end of the day is someone that you can trust, and I can trust Joe Biden.”

McChrystal retired from the military after a 2010 Rolling Stones article reported he and his staff had mocked members of President Barrack Obama’s administration, including then-Vice President Joe Biden. Asked later on by MSNBC about the 2010 incident, McChrystal said he spoke to Biden after the article was published and said “There was a lot more smoke than fire in that reality and I never didn’t respect Vice President Joe Biden or President Obama.”

McChrystal added, “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 respectful relationship between senior military leaders now.”

McChrystal went on to say a President needs to be willing to listen to military leaders who bring them bad news about the military policies they’ve endorsed.

“There’s a great danger because you endorsed it and your name’s attached to it, and [military leaders] may be hesitant,” McChrystal said. “You’ve got to create an environment where that says, ‘if we are going the wrong way, you have to tell me that.”

The Washington Post reported in May that McChrystal was working as an advisor to a Democratic-aligned political action committee called Defeat Disinfo, which aimed to organize efforts to counter pro-Trump messaging. In the initial Washington Post report, the outlet noted McChrystal had stopped short of explicitly endorsing Biden at the time.

McChrystal’s Thursday comments on MSNBC were accepted as an endorsement and The Hill reported the Biden campaign touted McChrystal’s endorsement that day.

“Vice President Biden is honored by General McChrystal’s endorsement,” Biden campaign spokesperson Andrew Bates, said. “And he couldn’t agree more that the next commander in chief must ‘respect people who serve and have served’ and be ‘someone that you can trust’ — which would be a decisive break from Donald Trump, the most dishonest president in American history and the only one to have utterly disgraced himself by calling veterans and the fallen ‘losers and ‘suckers.'”

Bates, in his statement, referenced a recent report by The Atlantic, alleging based on anonymous sources, that Trump disparaged fallen U.S. troops during a November 2018 visit to France.