Entertainment This week in US politics: Woodward book puts Mark Milley under the spotlight, AOC sends a message

04:05  17 september  2021
04:05  17 september  2021 Source:   abc.net.au

What Is Happening to Our Apolitical Military?

  What Is Happening to Our Apolitical Military? Remarks by America’s most senior military officer mark the latest step in the continued erosion of relations between the armed forces and their civilian leaders.As CNN reports, “Milley spoke to friends, lawmakers and colleagues about the threat of a coup,” and although journalists have largely recounted either private conversations or actions that Milley was planning—that is, giving him credit for things he might have done but hadn’t—the comments cast him in a flattering light, a soldier stalwart in defense of democracy.

Mark A. Milley , the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike, according to a new book by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert “ We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.” In the book ’s account, Milley went so far as to pledge he would alert his counterpart in the event of a U . S . attack, stressing the rapport they’d established through a backchannel. “General Li, you and I have known each other for

Mark Milley released a statement through a spokesman that confirmed the reporting in the new book Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that stated Milley had two conversations with his counterpart in the Chinese military that undermined President Trump and also a meeting Milley had with military leaders to insert himself into the nuclear launch command to subvert Trump’s authority as. The meeting regarding nuclear weapons protocols was to remind uniformed leaders in the Pentagon of the long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.

Bob Woodward has sparked a fire in American politics.

No, you haven't woken up in 1972. Or even in 2020.

Here in September 2021, a Bob Woodward investigation is ruffling feathers from Washington to Florida.

ICYMI, the Washington Post reported on an upcoming Woodward book, which says that in the final months of the Trump administration, America's top military officer was so afraid the then-president might spark a war with China that he allegedly made two calls to his Chinese counterpart to assure them the US would not strike.

One of the calls from chair of the joint chiefs of staff, General Mark Milley, reportedly happened four days before the election, the other two days after the insurrection on January 6.

Rubio calls on Biden to fire Milley after book claims general sought to undermine Trump

  Rubio calls on Biden to fire Milley after book claims general sought to undermine Trump Rubio called on President Biden to fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley"I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC)," Rubio said in a statement Tuesday. "These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.

Mark Milley , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, summoned senior officers to review the procedures for launching nuclear weapons. In the Post’s words, Milley concluded that “the president alone could give the order—but, crucially, that he, Milley , also had to be involved. Looking each in the eye But the two incidents are very different. Milley did not try to interfere with the president’s power to launch nuclear weapons. Rather, according to a more detailed account of Woodward and Costa’s book on CNN: Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the

Mark Milley , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took covert steps to prevent President Trump from potentially ordering a military strike or launching nuclear weapons, a CNN preview of Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's new book "Peril," reveals. Driving the news: According to Woodward and Costa, Milley believed the president had gone into Fearful of Donald Trump's actions in his final weeks as president, the United States ' top military officer twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the two nations would not suddenly go to war, a senior defense official said Tuesday after the

The book also alleges that CIA director Gina Haspel told Milley: "We are on the way to a right-wing coup."

If the reports were on the menu of a restaurant it'd have three little chillies next to it — this is spicy stuff friends.

So, how are all the birds in this particular nest reacting to this feather-ruffling?

Let's start in Florida, where Donald Trump wasted no time in blasting out a statement reacting to the news.

"If the story of "Dumbass" General Mark Milley, the same failed leader who engineered the worst withdrawal from a country, Afghanistan, in U.S. history … is true, then I assume he would be tried for TREASON," the former president said (quotation marks and capitals all his, in case you were wondering).

Trump said the story was "Fake News" and "for the record, I never even thought of attacking China — and China knows that".

Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says Gen. Milley 'must resign' if his secret calls with China occurred

  Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says Gen. Milley 'must resign' if his secret calls with China occurred Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, the star witness in the first impeachment trial of President Trump, is calling for the resignation of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley if the reporting of his secret phone calls with China under the previous administration occurred. New reporting from the upcoming book "Peril" alleges that Milley reached out to his Chinese counterpart in the final months of the Trump presidency, vowing that he would warn the CCP if the commander in chief launched an attack.

Trump accuses Gen Mark Milley of TREASON after Woodward book claimed he told his Chinese military counterpart that he'd warn him if US was planning to attack and limited 'unstable' Donald's ability to launch nukes. Trump accused the country's most senior general of 'treason' amid claims he told Former President Trump on Tuesday said the United States ' top military officer was guilty of treason if he went behind his back and promised to warn China of an impending attack. He was responding to bombshell revelations in a new book claiming that Gen. Mark Milley , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of

US Politics . Millions in US coping with loss of special jobless benefits. Garland calls Texas abortion law 'clearly unconstitutional'. Mark Milley , newly appointed acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller and his new chief of staff Kash Patel were all blindsided when the memo arrived at the Pentagon. Woodward book : Worried Trump could 'go rogue,' Milley took top-secret action to protect nuclear

Trump's call was quickly picked up by America's conservative media, which fell in line with the "treason" rallying cry.

As for Milley himself, Reuters reported that Colonel Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, said Milley's calls with Chinese officials and others in October and January were in line with his responsibility to "maintain strategic stability".

Reuters noted that Butler did not directly dispute the contents of the call.

The Pentagon also lined up to defend Milley, as did President Joe Biden.

"I have great confidence in General Milley," Biden said.

All of this is just the opening salvo of this story. Even among the LONG list of eyebrow-raising anecdotes from Trump's first term in the White House, this one has the ingredients of one that'll linger.

At the same time it published the reports, the Washington Post editorial board called on Congress to launch an investigation in the calls.

Gregg Jarrett: Gen. Milley's alleged treachery and betrayal merit a court-martial

  Gregg Jarrett: Gen. Milley's alleged treachery and betrayal merit a court-martial Revelations about the conduct of Gen. Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, contained in a new book are beyond alarming.  If accurate, they constitute court-martial offenses. If proven at trial, they merit conviction and imprisonment. In a new book titled "Peril," Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa describe in intimate detail conversations that Milley had with senior Pentagon officials, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and a top general in the Chinese military toward the end of Trump’s presidency.

Mark Milley , the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to resign following bombshell allegations from a new book by The Washington Post's Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Woodward and Costa wrote that in the run-up to the 2020 election and in the months after, Milley grew so concerned by Trump's erratic behavior that he called his Chinese counterpart twice to assure him that the US would not start a war with China. The first call took place on October 30, a few days before the November 3 general election, the book said.

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's new book "Peril" takes a look into the White House under Trump's presidency and reveals a private phone call between General Milley and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi.

The story is likely to find its way into heavy rotation at the former president's rallies, evidence of another supposed villain that can slot into his well-worn narrative that the Washington establishment had been working against him all along.

Milley himself is due to appear before Congress on September 29 for a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on Afghanistan.

Even the aggrieved former president, who had a knack for producing compelling television moments during his four years in office, is probably a little jealous of the ratings the otherwise boring Senate hearing will now produce.

Election Fever

Californians went to the polls this week in that much-hyped recall election we told you about last week.

But in the end, the man who helped the last Republican win a gubernatorial election in California had the best assessment of the final result.

"This is a state where a box of hammers with a 'D' stamped on it can win," strategist Mike Murphy told the New York Times.

Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom comfortably won the ballot to stay in his job by nearly 30 percentage points (with 74 per cent of total votes counted at the time of publication).

Biden asserts ‘confidence’ in embattled top US General Milley

  Biden asserts ‘confidence’ in embattled top US General Milley General Mark Milley faces calls for resignation for reported calls with Chinese counterpart during Trump presidency.Biden has “complete confidence” in Milley, who serves as the chairman of the joint chiefs, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters on Wednesday.

You can read these election tea leaves a million different ways, but one particular element stands out when considering the ballot in the context of the bigger political picture.

Before the California election, some Republicans (including the former president) followed the 2020 script by claiming that fraud would be rife. Republication candidate Larry Elder refused to say he would accept the results of the election.

The Sacramento Bee even discovered a website from Elder's campaign that claimed "statistical analyses used to detect fraud in elections held in 3rd-world nations (such as Russia, Venezuela, and Iran) have detected fraud in California resulting in Governor Gavin Newsom being reinstated as governor" before a ballot had even been counted.

But despite trying to mirror the former president during the campaign, Elder broke the Trumpian mould once the result was called and delivered a concession speech. In it, Elder told his supporters to be gracious in defeat.

Just like the 2021 Senate runoff in Georgia, there's concern among some Republicans that telling their voters the process is rigged (with zero evidence) stops the true believers from going to the polls and turns off the handful of independent voters both major parties try to woo.

Biden White House Has ‘Complete Confidence’ in Gen. Milley Following Bombshell Allegations

  Biden White House Has ‘Complete Confidence’ in Gen. Milley Following Bombshell Allegations White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday said that President Joe Biden has “complete confidence” in Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley following revelations that he took steps to avert a surprise military strike during the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency. Psaki’s remarks came shortly after a spokesperson from Milley’s office released a statement defending the general’s conversations with his Chinese military counterpart, saying that the nation’s top military officer had acted constitutionally and within his appointed role.

The walloping Elder got in California is more evidence of the theory.

It's also worth considering how far the needle has shifted when a Republican delivering a concession speech and admitting defeat after a 30-point loss is newsworthy.

Lost in translation

Yesterday a very important new alliance between Australia, the United States and the UK was announced. You can read about it here.

But before we Australians get grand ideas about our status on the world stage, it's worth remembering the historic press conference between Prime Minister Scott Morrison, US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

Watch the first few moments of this video and try not to simply expire because of cultural cringe:

Truly, we're all "that fella Down Under".

It was a different president and a different prime minister, but we couldn't help seeing shades of this moment from early in the Trump administration.

Breaking the internet

The Met Gala was held this week folks and STOP.  WHY ARE YOU RUNNING AWAY? I PROMISE THIS IS ABOUT POLITICS.

On paper, the Met Gala is a fundraiser to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute in New York.

In practice, it's an exclusive event where America's rich, powerful and famous gather to stun with looks on the red carpet and rub shoulders behind closed doors.

As a congresswoman from New York, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez scored an invite this year, and used the attention on the red carpet to make a statement.

The energy expended writing the takes on AOC'S "Tax the Rich" dress from across the political spectrum could have powered the city of New York for a year, scientists said (to be clear they didn't. This is a joke).

Milley-China calls weren’t authorized, Trump’s ex-acting defense chief says

  Milley-China calls weren’t authorized, Trump’s ex-acting defense chief says Milley-China calls weren’t authorized, Trump’s ex-acting defense chief says Former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller, who led the Pentagon from the period after the 2020 election through Inauguration Day, said he "did not and would not ever authorize" Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley to have "secret" calls with his Chinese counterpart, describing the allegations as a "disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination," and calling on him to resign "immediately." In a statement to Fox News, Miller said the U.S.

But no matter whether you were shouting "YASS AOC" or furiously questioning the merits of a Democratic socialist even participating in a gathering exclusively reserved for the rich, it was impossible to deny that Ocasio-Cortez succeed in getting everyone talking about her message.

And we mean everyone. Shortly after she graced the red carpet in New York, the Twitter account of the 78-year-old US President sent this:

Here's the deal with … Nicki Minaj

Once again I am asking you not to run away, I promise this is about US politics.

At the same time a part of the internet was on fire about Woodward's reports about Trump, rapper Nicki Minaj was setting a different corner aflame by revealing she wasn't yet vaccinated against coronavirus and was doing her "research".

She fired out this tweet, which is a lot:

Yeah. Umm. OK, Nicki.

Because the coronavirus vaccine has become one of the dividing lines in America's political culture wars, Fox News was quick to seize the claims. Then Minaj doubled down:

In the meantime, a very frustrated Trinidad and Tobago Health Minister took to national television to say that he'd looked into it and Minaj's claim about a cousin was predictably, complete nonsense (and as plenty pointed out, dangerous misinformation for a person with 22 million followers to share).

Minaj said the whole furore (which she dubbed #Ballgate) earned her an invitation to visit the White House to do some "research", and she'd even picked out her outfit.

"I'll be dressed in all pink like Legally Blonde so they know I mean business," she tweeted.

But White House officials pumped the brakes on the alleged visit, saying that they'd only offered to put her in touch with doctors to talk about the proven safety and efficacy of the vaccines and how there is no evidence it leads to … uhhh … regional swelling.

If I've said it once, I'll say it again, folks … God bless American politics.

Video: President Biden 'doesn't know where he is or who he's talking to' (Sky News Australia)

Milley, Army chief displayed 'pattern of behavior' defying authority: former senior military official .
A former assistant secretary of the Army under President Trump has accused top military officials, specifically Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley and Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army Gen. James McConville, of engaging in a "pattern of behavior" that overstepped their authority and undermined potential commands from Trump. In an interview with Fox News Digital, E. Casey Wardynski, a former assistant secretary of the Army for Manpower and Reserve Affairs under the Trump administration, accused high-ranking military officials Milley and McConville of making statements that insinuated they were calling the shots.

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