On Friday, Gen. Mark Milley (chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff) defended himself against the GOP's attacks on him over two calls he made to his Chinese counterpart during the Trump administration. Multiple reports claim that they were within his duties and responsibilities.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley Getty Images
The Key Facts
According to The Associated Press reports and Wall Street Journal, the top military officer talked publicly about the phone calls Friday and the backlash to reporters who were traveling on a military aircraft with him. According to reports from The Associated Press and Wall Street Journal, Milley stated that the phone calls, which apparently contained assurances that the U.S. would never attack China or warn it if they did, were routine and meant to reassure both adversaries and allies.
What to Watch
Milley will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee later in the month about his views on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The hearing will most likely be dominated by phone calls to China.
Milley stated in brief comments that The Associated Press called "breathtaking" that he thinks it best to keep my comments off the record while I speak before the lawmakers responsible for overseeing the U.S. army.
Since the first reports by Robert Costa and Bob Woodward about Milley's calls, GOP lawmakers have been critical of Milley. According to the book Milley reportedly assured his Chinese counterpart that the American government was stable and nothing would happen to him.
These comments have been reported to have led at least 12 House and Senate Republicans to call for Milley's resignation. Sen. Ted Cruz (R.Texas.) was one of them. Forbes reported Wednesday that Milleys' comments were a gross violation and dereliction of duty if true.
The White House has stood by Milley, and President Joe Biden stated that he is confident in the general. Jen Psaki, White House Press Secretary, stated that the excerpts were anonymous and unconfirmed reports.
Gen. According to Forbes, Milley took steps to limit Trump's nuclear strike power after Jan. 6 (Forbes).
Biden Says He Has Great Confidence In Gen. Milley Amid GOP Calls To Sack Him (Forbes)