President Obama: Article Showed Poor Judgment, But I Want to Talk to McChrystal Directly Before Any Final Decisions

ABC News' Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller report:

In the Cabinet Room of the White House late Tuesday afternoon, President Obama – flanked by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Defense Secretary Robert Gates -- was asked if he has plans to fire General Stanley McChrystal.

“General McChrystal is on his way here,” the president said. “And 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.”

The president added: “Let me actually 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 al Qaeda and affiliates cannot attack the United States 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,” the president said. “And 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 young men and women are making over there and that ultimately makes this country safer. I know Secretary Gates feels the exact same way.”

-Jake Tapper and Sunlen Miller

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