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Trump is not truthful, says ex-US general

WASHINGTON: The former commander of US and international forces in Afghanistan said on Sunday he would not work for President Donald Trump because he believed the president was “immoral and dishonest”.

In an interview to ABC News, retired general Stanley McChrystal accused Donald Trump of trading away “the biggest leverage” America had in Afghanistan by hinting that he intended to pull out half of the 14,000 troops from Afghanistan.

“I don’t think he tells the truth,” said Gen McChrystal when asked if he believes the president was a liar. “Is Trump immoral, in your view?” the anchor asked. “I think he is,” the general replied.

Recent speculations in the media suggested that Mr McChrystal, who is considered pro-Republican, could be a good candidate for the Trump White House, which is plagued by desertions and sackings.

But the general said he would not take a job in the Trump administration. “I think it’s important for me to work for people who I think are basically honest, who tell the truth as best they know it,” he said.

In reply to another question, McChrystal told ABC News: “If we want to be governed by someone we wouldn’t do a business deal with because their background is so shady, if we’re willing to do that, then that’s in conflict with who I think we are.”

Stanley McChrystal served 34 years in the US Army, but resigned in 2010 when an article published in Rolling Stone magazine revealed that he and his aides had disparaged senior members of the Obama administration.

He said he was “very tolerant of people who make mistakes because I make so many of them”, but he “almost never saw people … who were openly disingenuous on things”.

The retired general also criticised President Trump’s decision to pull out of Syria and draw down US forces in Afghanistan amid peace negotiations.

“I think the great mistake in the president’s leaked guidance is that just when we were starting to sit down with the Taliban, just when we were starting to begin negotiations, he basically traded away the biggest leverage point we have,” Mr McChrystal said.

The US media noted that Mr McChrystal now joins a number of retired military officers who have become critical of President Trump, including retired Air Force general Michael Hayden, Admiral William McRaven and Gen Martin Dempsey.

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