Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley defended making phone calls to China – in which he assured them the United States wasn’t planning an attack, and that Milley would warn China if an attack was coming – insisting he has “absolute” loyalty to the country.
He made the comments during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan.
Milley, according to reports in a new book called, Peril, grew so concerned about President Donald Trump’s mental state that he secretly called China to tell them that the United States wasn’t about to start a war with them.
The phone calls took place leading up to the election and days after the January 6 riot.
Perhaps the most astonishing allegation stemming from the story is a quote provided by the Washington Post which shows Milley was willing to warn China if an attack was in the works.
“General Li [Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army of China], you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time,” Milley purportedly said.
He also allegedly instructed officers “not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.”
Here is the section from Peril on Milley’s call on 10/30/20 with the PLA’s Li Zuocheng: “You & I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise. It’s not going to be a bolt out of the blue.” pic.twitter.com/OmoDsKm2Ld
— Jerry Dunleavy (@JerryDunleavy) September 22, 2021
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Mark Milley: Communicating With China Part Of My Job
General Mark Milley, in his opening statement during the Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Tuesday, said his communications with China were a routine part of the job.
“I am specifically directed to communicate with the Chinese by Department of Defense Guidance, Policy Dialogue System,” Milley said.
“These military to military communications at the highest level are critical to the security of the United States in order to deconflict military actions, manage crisis and prevent war between great powers armed with nuclear weapons.”
As for those calling his actions akin to treason – including the former President – Milley refutes such claims.
“My loyalty to this nation, its people, and the Constitution hasn’t changed and will never change as long as I have a breath to give,” he said. “My loyalty is absolute, and I will not turn my back on the fallen.”
General Milley defends his calls with China:
“My loyalty to this Nation, its people, and the Constitution hasn’t changed, and will never change, as long as I have a breath to give. My loyalty is absolute, and I will not turn my back on the fallen.” pic.twitter.com/fglOolPlHZ
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) September 28, 2021
Milley Claims Trump Officials Knew
General Mark Milley’s further testimony claims Trump officials were not only aware of his calls with China but helped coordinate them.
Fox News reports that Milley’s calls to Li were “coordinated before and after” with then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper and then-acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller’s staff among others.
Esper, The Political Insider reported, ordered a “backchannel” message to reassure China the United States would not be seeking military action in the days leading up to the 2020 presidential election.
New reporting from @jonathanvswan: Milley wasn’t the only one who feared China was consuming bad intel about the possibility of a surprise U.S. strike by Trump.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper ordered a back-channel message in October to reassure them. https://t.co/yL080jzoB4
— Zach Basu (@zacharybasu) September 15, 2021
Miller, however, denied ever authorizing Mark Milley to speak with China and called for him to resign over the communications.
“If the reporting in Woodward’s book is accurate, it represents a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination by the Nation’s top military officer,” Miller said.
He would add that if Milley’s “histrionic outbursts and unsanctioned, anti-Constitutional involvement in foreign policy prove true, he must resign immediately or be fired by the Secretary of Defense to guarantee the sanctity of the officer corps.”
This is huge!
Trump Acting Defence Secretary Christopher Miller Says He did not authorize Milley China Calls…. ..
— Atul Kumar (@AtuL1617_) September 15, 2021
Milley stated that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows had both been informed of his call to China as well.
NEW: Gen. Mark Milley testifies that several top Trump officials, including former Sec. of Defense Esper and former Sec. of State Pompeo, knew about his calls to Chinese counterpart. https://t.co/axdxv1F2zr pic.twitter.com/xMbFUtopAW
— ABC News (@ABC) September 28, 2021
President Trump cast doubt on the story in general but said if true, Milley should be tried for “treason.”
“If the story of ‘Dumbass’ General Mark Milley … is true, then I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President’s back and telling China that he would be giving them notification ‘of an attack,'” he said in a statement.
JUST IN – Trump says “it’s treason, if true” on Gen. Milley report.pic.twitter.com/ld5c4HnnAc
— Disclose.tv (@disclosetv) September 14, 2021
Fox News reporter Jennifer Griffin has indicated Milley’s calls weren’t a secret and involved at least 15 others.
Milley would additionally claim that “by law” he is “not in the chain of command,” but is in the “chain of communication” regarding attack directives coming from the President.
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