Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal on Thursday endorsed Democratic nominee Joe Biden in the 2020 presidential election, weeks after The Atlantic reported that President Trump called fallen military members “suckers” and “losers.”
“I’m looking for a president that is humble enough to understand that they are a servant,” McChrystal said in an MSNBC interview early Wednesday.
McChrystal said that he was compelled to speak out because of his wartime experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, where he witnessed firsthand what happens “when we stop talking about policy issues or differences and it starts to become cultural or tribal.”
“We say that could never happen in our country, but I’m not sure that we’re in a position to make that kind of confident statement,” McChrystal said.
The comments come as Trump has repeatedly stoked racial division, falsely claiming at a rally in Duluth, Minnesota on Wednesday that his Democratic rival would turn the battleground state into a “refugee camp.”
Without condemning Trump directly, McChrystal said that the role of commander-in-chief was not about authority, but about taking responsibility.
In 2010, the Army general resigned from his post amid reports that he had mocked Biden and other administration officials, issuing a statement at the time affirming that he continued to “strongly support” then-President Barack Obama’s strategy in Afghanistan.
He told MSNBC on Thursday that he’s always respected former President Obama and Biden, and that the 2010 controversy reported by Rolling Stone 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 said.
He told “Morning Joe” hosts that ultimately, trust was paramount.
“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,” he said.