Washington (CNN) – Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-North Dakota, is the first member of the Democratic leadership to suggest that Gen. Stanley McChrystal should resign.
When asked by CNN if McChrystal’s comments in Rolling Stone magazine warrant resignation, Dorgan replied “if he said what it was reported that he said, the answer is yes.”
Dorgan, who chairs the Senate Democratic Policy Committee, was visibly annoyed about McChrystal’s comments, just as many of his colleagues have been all day.
But Dorgan went further than his fellow Democratic senators, most of whom have called McChrystal’s reported comments about the president’s national security team inappropriate and troubling, but have also said it is up to President Obama to decide if McChrystal should be fired from his job as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.
“We can’t have a general calling the national security adviser a clown, or whatever had been attributed to him with respect to Vice President Biden, the national security adviser, and others. It’s just unbelievably inappropriate and just can’t be allowed to stand,” Dorgan told CNN.
Dorgan is one of many Democrats skeptical of sending more troops to Afghanistan, and even voted in May on an amendment requiring a timetable for redeployment.
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl Levin, D-Michigan, said “I don’t know” when asked if he thinks McChrystal can stay in his job. Levin, who like other senators appeared deeply conflicted about whether McChrystal should be forced to resign, did warn that his comments have a “negative effect” on Afghanistan policy.
Levin also said this sends a “message of confusion” to the troops in the field, which he said “is never good.”