Report: Republicans Plan to Grill Milley If They Regain House Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. (Anna Moneymaker/Getty)
By Charlie McCarthy | Wednesday, 14 September 2022 12:53 PM EDT
Lawmakers who are allies of former President Donald Trump plan to question Joint Chiefs of Staff Chair Gen. Mark Milley if Republicans regain control of Congress in the midterms, NBC News reported.
Milley, a critic of the former president, would face grilling about several issues, including the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, the military becoming too "woke," and military readiness, sources told NBC News.
"For our members, he is a big lightning rod," one Republican familiar with the House GOP plans told NBC News.
"Republicans want answers on a lot of things, and Mark Milley, because of his position and public comments, including in books, is the person to answer."
A spokesperson for Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., said the Defense Department would be part of investigations if Republicans capture the House in November. The top GOP members on the House Armed Services and Intelligence committees have requested that the Biden administration preserve documents relating to the Afghanistan withdrawal.
"If House Republicans are entrusted with the majority, we will conduct thorough oversight of the Biden administration’s actions and that includes those of the Department of Defense," McCarthy spokesman Mark Bednar said.
In several books about the Trump administration, Milley is cited as defying some of the then-president's orders and comparing his actions to those of Adolf Hitler.
In one book, Milley is quoted as saying in the final year of Trump’s administration that he would "fight from the inside" against what he saw as an increasingly erratic president.
Some of Trump’s allies in Congress view Milley as having been insubordinate and disrespectful of the commander in chief, sources told NBC News.
"President Trump was his boss, his commander in chief, and Milley was his subordinate. Milley’s role is to provide his military advice and then carry out his orders, not undermine the president when he disagreed with him," according to another Republican familiar with the plans.
Regarding the Afghanistan withdrawal, Republicans plan to question Milley about his role in shaping the conditions for the troops to leave, and whether he did enough to prepare for the effort.
Two defense officials told NBC News that Milley is aware of Republicans' plans to probe his actions, though he isn't taking any additional steps to prepare.
NBC News said that a new course at the U.S. Naval Academy will examine whether Milley’s actions, as chairman as portrayed in the books, violated the norms that govern civil-military relations and further politicized the military.