Milley holds secret call with China, others push Trump as election lie

Milley holds secret call with China, others push Trump as election lie

Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, pauses during a press briefing at the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia on August 18, 2021.

Youri Gripas | Reuters

WASHINGTON – General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made two phone calls to his Chinese counterpart during the difficult months of Donald Trump’s presidency to secretly reassure Beijing that the United States would not attack the country, Milley said. A spokesperson confirmed on Wednesday.

The call was first reported in the forthcoming book “Peril” by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

“Their appeals with the Chinese and others in October and January were consistent with those duties and responsibilities ensuring them to maintain strategic stability,” said spokesman Col. Dave Butler.

Butler said all of Milley’s calls were coordinated with the Department of Defense and other relevant agencies.

Milley did not speak to Trump about the call.

Woodward and Costa described how Milley learned in October 2020 that the Chinese feared Trump would attack China earlier as Trump lost the 2020 election and his rhetoric against China grew increasingly hostile.

Milley called his Chinese counterpart again on January 8, 2021, two days after the attack on Capitol Hill, to reassure him that the US government was stable and did not pose an immediate threat to China.

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Milley’s spokesperson also confirmed that Milley spoke to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in the days following the Jan.6 attack on the United States Capitol to reassure her that Trump shouldn’t. not be allowed to launch nuclear weapons or force the military to do anything. Security measures have been put in place to prevent in-kind orders. Try to keep them in power after losing the election.

He told Pelosi that “there is no way this president will snowball in hell, or that a president will unlawfully, immorally, immorally launch nuclear weapons without proper certification,” according to the book.

After the call, Milley, who had “no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump,” held a meeting with senior officials from the National Military Command Center to review procedures for launching weapons. nuclear. .

The revelation sparked outrage from some Republicans, including Trump, who suggested Milley had committed a crime behind the then president’s back by communicating US policy to foreign opponents.

But it doesn’t appear that the position of Trump’s successor, who has met with President Joe Biden, has suffered.

Asked about the reports on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki confirmed that Biden had full confidence in Millie.

“The president knows General Milley, he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for nearly eight months of his presidency, he worked side by side through several international events. And the President has full confidence in his leadership, his patriotism. and their allegiance to our Constitution, ”Saki told reporters.

‘Peril’ is due out on Tuesday.

Dan Mangan of CNBC contributed to this article.

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