Politics Wall Street Journal: Milley defends calls to China during Trump presidency as 'perfectly' within his duties
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.
Gen. Mark Milley on Friday defended theduring Donald Trump's final months in office as "perfectly within the duties and responsibilities" of his job as the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, The reported.
"These are routine calls in order to discuss issues of the day, to reassure both allies and adversaries in this case, in order to ensure strategic stability," Milley told reporters traveling with him on a military jet, the newspaper reported.
Biden says he has ‘complete confidence’ in Milley amid book disclosures
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 made two backchannel calls to China's top general, Li Zuocheng, that were revealed in" the forthcoming book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that details the final days of the Trump presidency. In October, as intelligence suggested China believed the US was going to attack them, Milley sought to calm Li by reassuring him that the US was not considering a strike, according to the book. Milley called again two days after the January 6 riot at the US Capitol to tell Li that the US is "100 percent steady" even though "things may look unsteady."
The top US defense official's actions, which were reported by CNN and others this week ahead of the book's release, drew sharp criticism from Trump and his allies, including calls for Milley's resignation and that he be tried for treason, while the White House and current and former defense officials defended him.
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: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. Let's get to it.
Milley's comments Friday are his first public response to the matter and come ahead of a September 28 hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, where he is sure to face questions about his actions in the final days of the Trump administration.
"I will go into any level of detail Congress wants to go into," Milley told reporters, adding that he wants to wait to testify before Congress to provide more clarity rather than use the media to defend himself, according to the Journal.
On Wednesday, several current and former defense officials rejected the criticism that Milley was acting in secret or out of authority, saying that the calls were conducted under protocols similar to other high-level engagements by the Joint Chiefs chairman and in consultation with the Defense Department.
More than a dozen people were on both videoconference calls Milley held with Li, including a representative from the State Department, a defense official had told CNN. The read-out and notes from the calls were shared with the intelligence community and the interagency, the official said.
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.
Milley conducted the October 30 call in consultation with then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, but former acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller told CNN on Wednesday he wasn't told the extent of Milley's engagement with the Chinese on January 8 and that he "wouldn't have approved of anything of the nature portrayed" in the book.
Milley's spokesman, Col. Dave Butler, said Milley's calls with other chiefs of defense "remain vital to improving mutual understanding of US national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict."
"His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability," he said in a statement Wednesday.
Milley is also facing criticism from Trump and his GOP allies for convening a secret meeting after January 6, in which the Joint Chiefs chairman instructed top military officers to consult him before proceeding with any order to take military action, including launching nuclear weapons.
The meeting was also detailed in "Peril," which is based on more than 200 interviews with firsthand participants and witnesses.
This story has been updated.
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.