A Milley spokesman said phone calls with his Chinese counterpart during Trump’s final months in office were appropriate for his duties.
In a statement on September 15, Colonel Dave Butler, a spokesman for General Mark Milley, said he acted in his capacity as Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff when speaking by phone with the general. Li Zuocheng, head of the Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission of China.
“General Mark Milley’s calls with his Chinese counterpart and others in October 2020 and January are consistent with obligations and responsibilities, aimed at providing reassurance to maintain strategic stability,” said the colonel. Butler said.
“All calls from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to his counterparts are staffed, coordinated, and communicated by the Department of Defense and interagency agencies,” the statement read.
According to pre-published excerpts from Peril, an upcoming book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley spoke by phone with General Li Tac Thanh on October 30, 2020, four days before the election. President of the United States and on January 8, two days after the invasion of the US Capitol.
During the calls, General Milley assured General Lee that the US was stable and had no intention of attacking. If an attack occurs, General Milley will also warn China in advance.
The second phone call between Milley and Li Zuocheng seems to have been organized due to the impact of the conversation between the US general and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi. After the riot at the US Capitol, Pelosi asked General Milley about measures to prevent the “unusual president” from launching a nuclear attack. “He’s lost his mind. You know, he’s lost his mind,” Pelosi said, to which General Milley replied, “I agree with you on everything.”
Former US President Donald Trump expressed skepticism about the story and said that if it was true, General Milley should be tried for treason. “I never even thought about attacking China,” Trump said.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on Biden to immediately fire General Milley. Rubio believes that it is dangerous for senior officers to leak classified information about US military activities, and this action undermines the ability to negotiate and use national power when the US president talks. discussions with foreign partners.
Jen Psaki, the White House press secretary, said US President Joe Biden had complete confidence in Gen. Milley. “The president worked with Milley for eight months,” Psaki said. “The President sees General Milley as a patriot, loyal to the constitution and confident in his ability to lead.”
General Mark Milley served as Chief of Staff of the US Army before being appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Trump in October 2019.
However, like many Trump appointees, General Milley was criticized by the former US president after he lost the election in the 2020 White House race.
Nguyen Tien (Follow AP)