Sen. Blackburn to Newsmax: Transcripts Needed of Milley's Calls With Reporters (Newsmax/"National Report")
By Sandy Fitzgerald | Wednesday, 29 September 2021 01:48 PM
It's vital to see the transcripts of calls Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, made with reporters, including Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, who describe in their new book "Peril" the conversations the general had with his Chinese counterpart about then-President Donald Trump, Sen. Marsha Blackburn said on Newsmax Wednesday.
During his testimony to the Senate Armed Services Committee, Milley defended his calls to the Chinese general, saying that he routinely communicated with him with the "knowledge and coordination" of civilian oversight, but Blackburn, R-Tenn., told Newsmax's "National Report" that his comments raise concerns about when and from where the calls were made.
"I have asked for these transcripts of the calls that he had with reporters," Blackburn said. "We want to know if those were made inside the Pentagon, if they were made when he was outside of the Pentagon, and if federal resources were used."
Milley told the committee that he would not detail what advice was given to President Joe Biden concerning the pullout from Afghanistan, but while serving during the Trump administration, the general gave "the verbatim of conversations from President Trump or White House staff to the reporters who were writing these books. He also spent hours on this giving information, but yet, you know, he wasn't paying attention to what was happening in Afghanistan."
Meanwhile, Milley, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, and Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, the commander of U.S. Central Command, all testified they recommended that 2,500 troops be kept in Afghanistan to protect the embassy and other key facilities.
Blackburn has announced planned legislation, saying in a preview that the bill will "course-correct the Biden administration's many failures by implementing counterterrorism oversight and accountability measures to challenge the Taliban's reign of terror."
"We are at greater risk today than we were when Joe Biden raised his hand and took the oath of office," Blackburn told Newsmax. "They have turned over to the Taliban, a terrorist group, an entire country. Afghanistan has been renamed as the Islamic Emirate. The Taliban is in charge. They have no governmental structures, but they are making a safe haven for terrorist groups to come. And what are they going to do? They're going to plot, they're going to plan, then they're going to attack us."
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