United States Marine Corps Gen. John Allen has decided to retire rather than continue with his nomination to the position of Supreme Commander of NATO, a decision that President Obama says was voluntary, despite reports that Allen was “pushed out” by the White House.
“Today, I met with General John Allen and accepted his request to retire from the military so that he can address health issues within his family,” Obama said in a statement released after the press briefing. “John Allen is one of America’s finest military leaders, a true patriot, and a man I have come to respect greatly. I wish him and his family the very best as they begin this new chapter, and we will carry forward the extraordinary work that General Allen led in Afghanistan.”
Obama nominated Allen to lead NATO, but that nomination was put on hold after The Washington Post reported that he had sent 30,000 “inappropriate emails” to socialite Jill Kelley, a woman connected to the scandal that brought down CIA director David Petraeus. Allen was cleared of wrongdoing.The White House acknowledged last week that Allen might retire, but maintained that Obama wanted him to remain as an active general.
“General Allen has said that, as he considers his next assignment, that he wanted to spend some time talking to his family about what he’d like to do next,” White House deputy press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters. “But suffice it to say, the President has a ton of confidence in General Allen . . . So certainly, we’d like to look for an opportunity for General Allen to continue his service to his country.”
Fox News’ White House Correspondent, Ed Henry, reported last week that the White House forced Allen to resign.“He’s out,” Henry quoted a source as saying. “I know he is retiring. He was pushed out of the door.”