A Fox News contributor smacked down Carly Fiorina’s claim that a disagreement with President Barack Obama forced him into early retirement.
The Republican presidential candidate claimed during Tuesday night’s debate in Las Vegas that Gen. Jack Keane, former vice chief of staff of the United States Army, had offered unwelcome advice to the president and was then pressured to step down.
Fiorina, the former chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, used the claim to criticize Obama’s handling of the military.
“One of the things that I would immediately do in addition to defeating them here at home is bring back the warrior class,” Fiorina said. “Petraeus, McCrystal, Mattis, Keane, Flynn, every single one of these generals I know, every one was retired early because they told President Obama things that he didn’t want to hear.”
The retired Keane now works as a military analyst for Fox News, said Wednesday morning on “Varney and Co.” that Fiorina’s claim was bogus and impossible.
“No, I have never spoken to the president,” Keane said. “That’s not accurate, and I never served this administration. I served the previous administration.”
Keane retired from the U.S. Army in 2003, and he co-authored a January 2007 paper that served as a blueprint for the Iraq troop surge later that year.
Fiorina’s characterization of the other military leaders’ partings with the Obama administration are similarly inaccurate.
Gen. David Petraeus resigned as director of the CIA in 2012 after admitting to an extramarital affair, and he pleaded guilty earlier this year to one misdemeanor charge of mishandling classified information he leaked to his mistress.
Gen. Stanley McChrystal resigned in 2010 after he angered the president by making insulting comments about Vice President Joe Biden in a magazine interview.
Gens. James Mattis and Michael Flynn did, as Fiorina claims, step down from their positions after Obama disagreed with their recommendation to expand military operations beyond Iraq and Afghanistan.
Watch Keane’s remarks posted online by Media Matters: