The office of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, defended him on Wednesday after former President Donald Trump accused Milley of “treason” for calling a Chinese military official last year, as brings it back a new book.
Separately, President Joe Biden said he had “great faith” in Milley when asked about the report.
Trump slammed Milley on Tuesday after the publication of part of “Peril,” a book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post, which reported that Milley told his Chinese counterpart ahead of last year’s presidential election that ‘he would warn him in advance of any US attack
U.S. intelligence agencies at the time warned that Chinese military officials feared Trump would launch an attack to bolster his campaign, according to the book.
“For the record, I never even thought of attacking China – and China knows that,” Trump said in his statement, in which he also called Milley “weak and ineffective.”
The authors also reported that Milley had taken steps to ensure that the proper protocols for the U.S. nuclear arsenal were followed in the days following the storming of Capitol Hill by Trump supporters on Jan.6 in the United States. aim to stop the counting of electoral votes.
In a statement Wednesday, Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Dave Butler suggested that there had been nothing improper about Milley’s actions.
“General Milley continues to act and advise within the framework of his authority in the legal tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution,” said Butler.
He said the president “communicates regularly” with his counterparts around the world, “including China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of US national security interests, reducing tensions, bring clarity and avoid unforeseen consequences or conflicts “.
“His appeals with the Chinese and others in October and January were consistent with these reassured duties and responsibilities in order to maintain strategic stability,” Butler said, adding that “the meeting regarding the nuclear weapons protocols was to remind the Uniformed Pentagon leaders have long established and robust procedures in light of media reports on the subject. “
Trump’s former national security adviser John Bolton backed Milley, calling him “a strong supporter of the Constitution and the rule of law.” His patriotism is unchallenged.
“In the days following Donald Trump’s electoral defeat on November 3, 2020, I can only imagine the pressure he and others were under to fulfill their constitutional obligations,” he said in a statement.
After the account of “Peril” came to light on Tuesday, Senator Marco Rubio, R-Fla., Called on Biden to fire Milley, saying his actions “demonstrate a clear lack of judgment.” Other Republican lawmakers had previously called on Milley to step down following the US withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In a briefing Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki said she would not speak to the “unconfirmed anonymous reports” contained in the book, but suggested Milley is not going anywhere.
“What I can assure you is that the president knows General Milley, he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs for almost eight months of his presidency, they worked side by side through a series of international events, and the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his loyalty to our Constitution. “
Psaki also offered what she called a “key context” around when Milley’s reported actions were reported.
“The outgoing President of the United States during this period stirred up unrest, leading to an insurgency and an attack on our nation’s capital on January 6,” she said. “Beyond the reports in this book, there have been numerous reports and comments from members of his own cabinet, the cabinet of the former president should I say, including senior national security officials, reminding question the stability of the former president, his demeanor and his ability to oversee the security of the United States. “