‘Routine’ calls to China are ‘completely’ within the scope of the job
General Mark Milley said Friday that calls he made to his Communist Chinese counterpart in the final days of Donald Trump’s presidency were “routine” and fell “within the duties and responsibilities” of his job as a senior US military officer.
In his first public acknowledgment of the exchanges, Milley noted that such phone calls were made “to reassure both allies and adversaries in this situation in order to ensure strategic stability.”
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff wire to the Associated Press (AP) and another reporter traveling with him to Europe to present his case.
Milley chose to give only a short defense of his calls, saying he plans to have a deeper discussion of the matter for Congress when he testifies at a hearing later in September. He told the outlet:
I think it is best to keep my comments on record until I do so in front of lawmakers who have the legal responsibility to oversee the US military.
I’ll go into whatever level of detail Congress wants to get into in a couple of weeks.
Milley and US Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin are scheduled to testify on September 28 before the Senate Armed Services Committee amid ongoing confusion over who said what to whom.
What a shock. https://t.co/Xzm1Q5GPU8
– Breitbart News (@BreitbartNews) September 16, 2021
This appearance was initially supposed to be a hearing about the US military withdrawal from Afghanistan and the chaotic evacuation of Americans, Afghans, and others from that country.
Now it has taken on new meaning following the public disclosure of Milley’s two appeals to General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army to assure him that the United States had no intention of attacking China.
Critics demand to know why Milley violated the basic principle of civilian control over the military and its central role in American democracy.
This isn’t even close to Mielle’s denial… It’s basically a complete defense of his potentially treacherous actions.
It needs to be removed. https://t.co/nVDJcGVvZ3
– Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) September 15, 2021
A special House committee investigating the January 6 rioting at the Capitol has requested details of Milley’s disputed calls to China.
US Representatives, Benny Thompson, Miss USA, and Liz Cheney, the committee chair, also sought records related to the November elections, the transfer of power from Trump to Biden, and the riots in the capital.
Milley was appointed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Trump in 2019 and took up the position in the Biden administration. As President, Milley is the Senior Military Adviser to the President and to the Secretary of Defense.
The White House and the Pentagon chief said they still had full confidence in Milley, according to the Associated Press.
For his part, former President Trump responded to the calls for a public trial of Milley, according to Breitbart News. mentioned.
“If the story of General ‘Dombass’ Mark Milley… is true, I suppose he will stand trial for the Treson charge,” Trump said. “He was going to deal with his Chinese counterpart behind the president’s back and tell China he would give them notice to ‘launch an attack’. You can’t do that!”
The Associated Press contributed to this story