Dear Commons Community,
Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley has taken “appropriate measures” to ensure his safety, he said this week in his first public response to shocking comments made by former President Donald Trump suggesting that the Army general is a traitor who deserves execution.
Trump last week accused Milley of going behind his back to communicate with China during the final months of the Trump administration. Milley, who was nominated to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff by Trump, is set to leave his military leadership post tomorrow.. The general has stood by his communications with China and said he wishes that Trump hadn’t made his comments. As reported by CBS News.
“I’ll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family,” Milley said.
What former President Trump said about Gen. Milley
The public disagreements between Trump and Milley have gone on for years. A 2021 book suggested Milley was concerned Trump might attempt a power grab over the 2020 election results. Milley in 2021 refused to comment on the reports.
Trump, in his Friday Truth Social post, also targeted Milley’s role in the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan. The former president indicated that Milley’s decision to leave office was cause for celebration.
“This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States,” Trump wrote on his social platform Truth Social. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”
Gen. Milley’s response to former President Trump’s comments
Milley, when asked about the post suggesting he should deserve the death penalty, stressed that he’s a soldier who’s been faithful to the Constitution for more than 44 years. He said he’s willing to die to support and defend the Constitution.
“So I’m not gonna comment directly on those, those things,” he said. “But I can tell you that this military, this soldier, me, will never turn our back on that Constitution.”
Milley also said there was nothing inappropriate or treasonous about his calls to China.
Gen. Milley’s calls to China
The chairman’s spokesperson in 2021 said the general’s calls to China were part of his regular communications with defense chiefs worldwide. The spokesperson described the calls as being crucial to reducing tensions between nations, as well as “avoiding unintended consequences or conflict.”
“His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” the spokesperson said in a written statement at the time. “All calls from the chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”
Milley’s calls with his Chinese counterpart were revealed in “Peril,” a book by reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, now a CBS News correspondent. There were reports that toward the end of the Trump administration, Milley assured General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the U.S. would not launch an attack against China.
Milley is set to appear in an upcoming CBS 60 Minutes episode to discuss why he thought his calls to China were not only proper, but also necessary to avert further conflict.
Milley is a military hero. Trump can’t stand military heroes!