Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., told Newsmax that the reported actions of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley near the end of President Donald Trump’s term are ”concerning” if proved true.
”Whether it’s fact or fiction, it certainly looks a bit concerning to have the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, who has been outspoken in opposition to former President Trump, [and] in many ways, and really, in my mind, let him down on a number of occasions, and more specially, what he did with Afghanistan,” Walberg said Wednesday on ”American Agenda.”
”If that’s the type of advice that Gen. Milley gave to our president, President [Joe] Biden, on how to extricate our military and our citizens from Afghanistan, he is not a good counsel to the president.”
In a Sept. 14 New York Times preview of Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book, ”Peril,” which documents the last months of the Trump presidency and the beginning of Biden’s term, Milley reportedly contacted his Chinese counterparts twice, in October and January, to assure them that the United States was not going to take any kind of military strike against them in some effort to maintain the Trump presidency.
”Things may look unsteady,” Milley reportedly told Gen. Li Zuocheng of China on Jan. 8, two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot to try to stop the certification of Trump’s election loss and in the second of two such calls, according to the Times.
”But that’s the nature of democracy, General Li. We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
In the book, Milley also reportedly spoke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and agreed with her assessment that Trump was not mentally stable following his election loss, to which, Milley reportedly told her that he would ”make sure” Trump didn’t do anything ”crazy.”
”The one thing I can guarantee is that as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, I want you to know that — I want you to know this in your heart of hearts, I can guarantee you 110 percent that the military, use of military power, whether it’s nuclear or a strike in a foreign country of any kind, we’re not going to do anything illegal or crazy,” he reportedly said.
Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley’s office, issued a statement Wednesday that said such communications with foreign counterparts are normal and constitutional.
”The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia,” the statement said. ”These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict.”
Butler said that the calls were in keeping with Milley’s responsibilities and duties.
”Gen. Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution,” Butler said in the statement.
Trump reacted to the reports Tuesday with a statement of his own condemning the book.
”The good news is that the story is fake news, concocted by a weak and ineffective general together with two authors who I refused to give an interview to because they write fiction, not fact,” Trump said.
”Actions should be taken immediately against Milley, and better generals in our military, of which we have many, should get involved so that another Afghanistan disaster never happens again. Remember, I was the one who took out 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. Milley said it couldn’t be done!”
”For the record, I never even thought of attacking China — and China knows that,” he continued. ”The people that fabricated the story are sick and demented, and the people who print it are just as bad. In fact, I’m the only President in decades who didn’t get the U.S. into a war — a well-known fact that is seldom reported.”
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