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Politics Biden says he has ‘complete confidence’ in Milley amid book disclosures

00:05  16 september  2021
00:05  16 september  2021 Source:   news.yahoo.com

Mark Milley Insists Calls to China Are 'Routine' Part of Job in First Public Comments

  Mark Milley Insists Calls to China Are 'Routine' Part of Job in First Public Comments The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff came under fire amid reports that he'd twice called his Chinese counterpart with assurances that the U.S. would not attack or initiate a war with China. Speaking to the AP while traveling to Europe, Milley said that he made the calls "to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case in order to ensure strategic stability."Excerpts from the upcoming book Peril, authored by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, contained descriptions of the calls Milley made. During the conversations, he told Li that he would provide him with a warning in the event of a U.S.

President Biden has " complete confidence " in Gen. Mark Milley to carry on as chairman of the joint chiefs of staff after a forthcoming book reported extraordinary measures Milley took at the end of the Trump administration to guard against a potential missile launch. Milley has come under criticism and faced calls from some Republicans to resign following reports from a new book from Washington Post reporters that details two calls to his Chinese counterpart in the final months of the Trump administration. Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reported in "Peril" that Milley sought to reassure the

Sept 15 (Reuters) - President Joe Biden has " complete confidence " in top U.S. General Mark Milley , the White House said on Wednesday, after a report that he secretly twice placed a call to his Chinese counterpart over concerns then-President Donald Trump could spark a war with China.

WASHINGTON –– The White House affirmed on Wednesday that it was standing by Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who according to a new book may have circumvented the military chain of command by reassuring a Chinese general he would warn Beijing if then-President Trump ordered a nuclear attack on the rival superpower.

"The president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki said during a press briefing.

The president reiterated that message himself about an hour later as he met with business leaders at the White House. “I have great confidence in Gen. Milley,” Biden told reporters.

Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod

  Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod It's Wednesday, welcome to Overnight Defense & National Security, your nightly guide to the latest developments at the Pentagon, on Capitol Hill and beyond. Subscribe here: thehill.com/newsletter-signup.Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley has become a lightning rod for the Biden administration amid calls for him to resign over book excerpts revealing President Trump's final days in office.We'll break down what the issue is, who is angry, and what the Biden administration has to say.For The Hill, we're Ellen Mitchell and Rebecca Kheel. Write to us with tips: emitchell@thehill.com and rkheel@thehill.com. Let's get to it.

Psaki said Biden ’s experience with Milley is that he is a “man of honor”. Biden on Wednesday hosted a meeting with business leaders and CEOs on his administration’s Covid response. “I have great confidence in General Milley ,” Biden said to a reporter as the press pool was pushed out of the room.

Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has urged President Joe Biden to relieve Gen. Mark Milley , chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of his duties following reports that Milley promised to warn the Chinese government of any impending attack during the end of the Trump administration. Rubio, in a letter to Biden dated Tuesday, characterized Milley ’s promise to Gen. Li as 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.”

He did not elaborate.

Mark A. Milley wearing a uniform: US Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds a press briefing about the US military drawdown in Afghanistan, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC September 1, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News US Army General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, holds a press briefing about the US military drawdown in Afghanistan, at the Pentagon in Washington, DC September 1, 2021. (Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images)

The revelations about Milley’s call with the Chinese general are included in “Peril,” a forthcoming book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, both of the Washington Post. Woodward and Costa write that Milley, in the days before the 2020 election, told a top official in Beijing that the U.S. government was “stable” and there would be no attack on China.

He apparently felt the call was necessary because Beijing had grown concerned that the ever-unpredictable Trump could launch a nuclear strike, perhaps as a means of distracting from his persistent problems at home.

Trump complained aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford 'doesn't look right'

  Trump complained aircraft carrier USS Gerald Ford 'doesn't look right' Former President Donald Trump was fixated with the Navy's supercarrier USS Gerald Ford, complaining to senior military officers that the $13billion ship 'just doesn't look right,' according to a new book.‘I know aesthetics,’ Trump reportedly told senior military leaders when he told them he didn’t like the ship’s high cost, the advanced weapons elevators used to transport arms aboard, and the location of the ‘island’ - or command center - on the ship’s deck.

He has repeatedly and baselessly claimed that Biden stole the election from him . His false claims helped spark the deadly January 6 insurrection. There were also concerns that Trump would launch a strike against Iran on his way out of office amid heightened tensions over the US adversary's nuclear program, which has been detailed in numerous reports. After a meeting on the issue in November, the book says that CIA Director Gina Haspel called Milley and said , "This is a highly dangerous situation.

A new book claims Milley phoned his Chinese counterpart to give reassurances two days after the January 6 Capitol riot. Trump accused him of treason and Republicans are demanding he resign. The book 's revelations triggered a wave of concern that Milley had violated the chain of command and 'If this is true GEN Milley must resign,' the retired lieutenant colonel tweeted on Tuesday along with an article about new book 'Peril' which claims Milley was fearful Trump might spark war with China in the wake of his November election defeat to Joe Biden . ' He usurped civilian authority, broke Chain of

Milley phoned his Chinese counterparts again on Jan. 8, two days after the U.S. Capitol riot that left several people dead, again to calm their fears. He made a similar call to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to Woodward and Costa, telling her, in their words, that he would not allow a president to order nuclear strikes “illegally, immorally, unethically without proper certification.”

Psaki described the events surrounding Milley’s reported calls as “key context,” though she stopped well short of acknowledging that the White House had confirmed that the calls had, in fact, taken place.

In the final days of the Nixon presidency, Pentagon chief James Schlesinger purportedly made a similar determination about a potential order to launch a nuclear attack. In 1998, President Bill Clinton was accused of ordering a military operation against Osama bin Laden for political reasons, as he was facing impeachment at the time. That strike did not involve the use of nuclear weapons.

Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right

  Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has become a lightning rod for the Biden administration, which is facing calls for him to resign over book excerpts underscoring his maneuvering during former President Donald Trump's final days in office.Milley was already a target for conservatives before the revelations in "Peril," the upcoming book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post.But the newMilley was already a target for conservatives before the revelations in "Peril," the upcoming book by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post.

Biden could not say “with any certitude that there's actually been a list of names,” but then added that “it could very well have happened.” A spokesperson for the president’s National Security Council, Emily Horne, later told Politico that “in limited cases” the US has shared information with the Taliban that has helped evacuations from Kabul. Islamic State Khorasan (ISIS-K), an offshoot of Islamic State (IS/formerly ISIS) that is active in Afghanistan, claimed responsibility for the Kabul bombings.

Two high-level FDA vaccine officials have quit, raising eyebrows about the agency’s future. In addition to failing to appoint an FDA commissioner seven months into his term, Biden promoted a booster shot without agency go-ahead. While there was no official reason given for their departure, a former FDA bigwig told biotech outlet Endpoints that the pair complained that the CDC, and specifically its Advisory Committee on Immunization (ACIP), had seized the right to make decisions that had previously been left up to the FDA.

Ahead of Biden’s own vow of support for Milley, Psaki dismissed calls for Milley to resign.

Jen Psaki wearing a blue screen: White House press secretary Jen Psaki answers questions in the White House press briefing room on September 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News White House press secretary Jen Psaki answers questions in the White House press briefing room on September 15, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Win McNamee/Getty Images)

“I don’t think the president is looking for the guidance of members of Congress who stood by while the president of the United States and the leader of their party fomented an insurrection and many of them were silent,” she said, referring to congressional Republicans who declined to condemn Trump for inciting the violent assault on the U.S. Capitol, which left at least four people dead.

Details of Milley’s calls to Pelosi and the Chinese general in the waning days of Trump’s presidency were made public on Tuesday. His reputed actions drew criticism from Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a key figure in the first impeachment trial of Trump. Now retired from the Army, Vindman said that if Milley “usurped civilian authority” over the military, as the new book suggests, he “must resign.”

Trump Put Milley in an Impossible Position

  Trump Put Milley in an Impossible Position The general stayed inside the lines—barely. The real problem is that he was in that situation at all.In a new book, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa write that Milley contacted his opposite number in China just before and just after the 2020 election. Milley, according to Woodward and Costa, was reaching out to General Li Zuocheng to calm jangled nerves in Beijing about the stability of the United States. Milley also reportedly called together a group of senior U.S. officers and made them affirm, one by one, that they understood that the procedure for the release of nuclear weapons had to include him.

For his part, Trump struck out at Milley for having engaged in “treason.”

Biden’s presidential campaign was predicated, to a degree, on the argument that Trump was an existential danger to the United States. The Jan. 6 Capitol riot brought fears of democratic collapse into ever greater relief.

Psaki reiterated that point several times during Wednesday’s briefing, at which Milley’s standing with the White House dominated the back-and-forth with reporters. “He knows Gen. Milley and he's worked beside him for the last nearly eight months and that's what gives the president confidence in him,” she said.

a group of people standing next to a man in a suit and tie: U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley (L) after addressing a joint session of congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) © Provided by Yahoo! News U.S. President Joe Biden speaks with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark A. Milley (L) after addressing a joint session of congress in the House chamber of the U.S. Capitol April 28, 2021 in Washington, DC. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

A spokesman for Milley, Col. Dave Butler, described any calls with foreign leaders as necessary for “conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability.” Pointedly, Butler’s statement did not refute either the generalities or particulars of Woodward and Costa’s reporting.

Later yet, Pentagon spokesman John Kirby offered a similar defense of Milley. “I see nothing in what I've read that would cause any concern,” he told reporters of the new book.

Trump claims Biden won't fire Milley for fear of him 'spilling the dirty secrets' on Afghanistan

  Trump claims Biden won't fire Milley for fear of him 'spilling the dirty secrets' on Afghanistan Former President Donald Trump said President Joe Biden has not taken action against Gen. Mark Milley because the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman may harbor "dirty secrets" about the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Afghanistan. © Provided by Washington Examiner According to a forthcoming book, Milley promised to give his Chinese counterpart advance notice if Trump ordered a strike against China. The reporting ignited a maelstrom of calls from Republicans and military veterans for the top military official to resign or be fired.

Woodward has written a number of White House books, and “Peril” is his third on the Trump administration. But his reliance on anonymous sources and his alleged willingness to allow officials to burnish their own reputations in exchange for information has drawn criticism over the years.

Psaki said she would not comment on “anonymous, unconfirmed reports,” a departure from the Trump administration’s eagerness to wade into and often exacerbate media controversies. Still, she made clear that Biden’s support for Milley remained steadfast, making resignation by the 40-year Army veteran highly unlikely.

Republicans will surely try to rattle Milley during an upcoming hearing on the Afghanistan withdrawal, another topic on which the Joint Chiefs chair has faced intense scrutiny. But he will head to Capitol Hill with the explicit backing of a president not known to make rash personnel decisions.

Donald Trump et al. posing for the camera: President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit outside St. John's Church, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo) © Provided by Yahoo! News President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit outside St. John's Church, Monday, June 1, 2020, in Washington. (Patrick Semansky/AP Photo)

Milley was heavily criticized in the summer of 2020, as anti-racism protesters gathered at Lafayette Park across from the White House. Although members of the military were not involved in the violent clearing of the park, Milley accompanied Trump to an adjacent church, where the president posed awkwardly with a Bible for photographs. Milley’s presence unwittingly endowed the chaotic affair with the imprimatur of the Pentagon.

Mark Milley Accused of Treason As Republicans Urge Joe Biden to Fire Him

  Mark Milley Accused of Treason As Republicans Urge Joe Biden to Fire Him Rep. Ronny Jackson has accused the chairman of the joint chiefs of "colluding with our enemies" as other GOP lawmakers call for General Milley to face a court-martial over phone calls to China.Calls for Milley's ouster stem from a Washington Post article on Tuesday about two phone calls the general reportedly made to General Li Zuocheng of China on October 30, 2020, and January 8, 2021.

Since then, Milley has apologized, distancing himself from both Trump and the events at Lafayette Park. He drew Republicans’ ire several months ago when he defended teaching American students about racism and inequality in an effort to understand “white rage.” In response, Fox News host Tucker Carlson branded Milley a “pig.”

Thumbnail Cover Photo: Oliver Contretas/Sipa/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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Book: Top US officer feared Trump could order China strike .
WASHINGTON (AP) — 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 after the conversations were described in excerpts from a forthcoming book. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the United States would not strike. One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that defeated Trump. The second call was on Jan. 8, 2021, just two days after the insurrection at the U.S.

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