FILE – In this Sept. 1, 2021, file photo Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a briefing with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Washington. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh, File)
UPDATED 6:03 AM PT – Wednesday, September 15, 2021
The 45th president is criticizing chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley for talking to China behind his back. During an interview Tuesday, Donald Trump said if Bob Woodward’s account of Milley secretly talking to China is true then the general’s actions amount to treason.
Trump then expressed concern with Woodward’s report that claims Milley promised to warn Beijing if Trump authorized a military strike on China. Woodward also found Milley was telling military officers not to follow President Trump’s orders after the January 6 protests at the U.S. Capitol. Trump stressed a U.S. general must not advise a foreign adversary or conspire against the commander-in-chief.
Meanwhile, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has called on Joe Biden to fire General Milley. The Florida lawmaker expressed this opinion to Biden in a letter Tuesday regarding Milley’s alleged contact with his Chinese counterpart after January 6.
“I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” Rubio wrote. “These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.”
Rubio stressed Milley’s assurance to warn China of a future U.S. attack was a “contemplation to divulge classified information.” He accused Milley of undermining President Trump by communicating with a rival nation behind his back. The Republican senator declared such actions demonstrated Milley’s “lack of sound judgment.” He suggested the general should be terminated immediately.
“General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military’s judgement as more stable than its civilian commander,” Rubio continued. “It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military.”
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) became the second senator to call for the removal of Milley. In a tweet Tuesday, Paul said Milley is working to “subvert the military chain of command and collude with China.” The Kentucky lawmaker said along with his hand in the withdrawal from Afghanistan, it’s clear Milley is not fit to serve as Joint Chiefs of Staff. Paul added, if the accusations are true then the general should be court martialed and immediately removed from his job.