Milley defends calls for China during Trump's tenure

General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended his actions during the tumultuous last months of the Trump admin...


General Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended his actions during the tumultuous last months of the Trump administration, insisting that the appeals to his Chinese counterpart and a meeting in which he asked the generals to alert him if the president attempting to launch a nuclear weapon were all part of his duties as the country’s top military officer.

“My loyalty to this nation, its people and the Constitution has not and will never change as long as I have a breath to give,” he said. “I firmly believe in civilian control of the military as a fundamental principle essential to this republic and I am committed to ensuring that the military stays away from domestic politics.”

General Milley took advantage of the end of his opening remarks to the Senate Armed Services Committee to address the turmoil of recent revelations in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s book “Peril”. He said he had been led by Mark Esper, then Secretary of Defense, to call his Chinese counterpart on October 30 because there was “information that led us to believe the Chinese were concerned about a attack on them by the United States. . “

General Milley’s testimony was another chapter in the history of the chaotic final days of the Trump administration, with government officials worried about the steps Mr. Trump might take in the final days of his presidency.

“I know, I’m sure, President Trump did not intend to attack the Chinese and it is my direct responsibility to convey presidential orders and intent,” he said. “My task at the time was to defuse. My message was once again consistent: calm, stable, de-escalation. We are not going to attack you.

General Milley also addressed the frantic phone call with President Nancy Pelosi of California two days after the Jan.6 riot on Capitol Hill. A transcript of the call in the book said the general agreed with Ms. Pelosi’s characterization of President Donald J. Trump as “insane.”

Addressing the Senate panel, General Milley said: “On January 8, Speaker of the House Pelosi called me to inquire about the president’s ability to launch nuclear weapons. I tried to assure him that the nuclear launch is governed by a very specific and deliberate process. She was worried and made various personal references characterizing the president. I explained to him that the President is the only nuclear launch authority, and that he does not launch them alone, and that I am not qualified to determine the sanity of the President of the United States.

Later that afternoon, he said, he called on the generals involved in this process to “brush up on these procedures.”

In an unintentionally funny exchange with Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee, General Milley admitted to speaking with a series of authors who recently wrote books on the final months of the Trump presidency. All the books present the general’s actions to control Mr. Trump in a favorable light.

“Woodward yes, Costa no,” replied General Milley, when asked if he had spoken to Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post about their book “Peril.” The general said he hadn’t read any of the books.

At this, Senator Blackburn asked him to read them and say if the books correctly portrayed his actions.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Milley defends calls for China during Trump's tenure
Milley defends calls for China during Trump's tenure
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