The editor of the news-making article about General Stanley McChrystal said Tuesday morning that the general and his team knew they were on the record when they made every one of their explosive comments.
In an interview with Rolling Stone editor Eric Bates on MSNBC's "Morning Joe," hosts Mika Brzezinski and Joe Scarborough repeatedly expressed their astonishment at the sheer number of damning quotes in the piece by reporter Michael Hastings which has stunned political observers and put McChrystal's command of forces in Afghanistan in doubt.
Brzezinski asked Bates if McChrystal had perhaps been unaware that he was on the record for some of the quotes. Bates said that Hastings had been very clear with the general:
They knew when we were on the record. They said a lot of stuff to us off the record that's not in the story. We respected those boundaries. This was all when they knew they were on.
"Wow," Brzezinski responded.
Later, Scarborough said he thought the only way McChrystal could possibly keep his job was if he claimed he was misquoted. He asked Bates if, during the fact-checking process, McChrystal had denied the accuracy of any of the quotes. Bates said he did not:
"No, not at all. Didn't hear that during the course of the story, didn't hear that in his attempt to peddle it back."
Bates also said that the general and his team have been aware of the contents of the article for the past two weeks, because the magazine has been fact-checking the piece.