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President Joe Biden and his top officials continue to defend Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even as calls for him to resign or be forcefully ousted grow over concerns that he poses “a danger to the country.”
The concerns stem from bombshell reporting by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa about an allegedly secret phone call last year between Milley and Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army.
Early Wednesday afternoon, Politico dropped a story about anonymous current and former defense officials who claim the phone call has been “grossly mischaracterized.”
Politico’s sources also argued “Milley did not go rogue in placing the call” and that he’d “asked permission from acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller before making the call.”
But when questioned about the call, Miller — a remnant of the Trump administration — pleaded ignorance.
Milley conspired with China amid ‘top-secret’ moves to prevent Trump from launching nuclear weapons, book claims https://t.co/p0cKYcCuSB
— Bo Snerdley (@BoSnerdley) September 14, 2021
“Miller [said] that Milley almost certainly told him he was going to call his Chinese counterpart, but he didn’t recall getting a detailed readout of the call after. … I don’t know if that call is accurate. I don’t know if it’s true or not,” he told Politico.
However, he did admit that if the allegations are true, then that would be a problem.
“It would be completely inappropriate and completely contrary to civilian oversight of the military if he was conducting foreign policy activities or national security activities of that nature,” he said.
He reportedly added that it’d be “pretty troubling for civilian oversight and would be really contrary to the Constitution if true. … If the way the Woodward book portrays the nature of the phone call is accurate, it’s not in accordance with the way we do things in our government and our republic.”
In a separate statement to Fox News, Miller further argued that Milley “must resign immediately or be fired by the Secretary of Defense to guarantee the sanctity of the officer corps” if the allegations against him are accurate.
Pentagon press secretary John Kirby, a longtime expert at manufacturing excuses out of thin air, apparently disagrees.
When pressed about Woodward and Costa’s allegations during a press briefing later that afternoon, he also pleaded ignorance but argued that if the allegations are true, then that would not be a problem.
“I can’t speak to the validity, but I see nothing in what I’ve read that would cause any concern,” he said.
This sentiment is shared by the Joint Chiefs of Staff. In a slobbering statement published Wednesday, Joint Chiefs of Staff spokesperson Col. Dave Butler suggested Milley’s call was on the up and up.
“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia. These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict,” Butler said.
“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. All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency,” he added.
Keep in mind that Milley is Butler’s boss …
Here’s the statement from Gen Milley’s office defending his call with Chinese and Russian officials during the tumultuous election as normal. The statement also confirms the meeting about nuke launch procedures. https://t.co/HvxFAiIw6d pic.twitter.com/ifxFKZQPfO
— Hans Kristensen (@nukestrat) September 15, 2021
For their part, Woodward and Costa reportedly stand by their reporting.
“We stand by our reporting,” they pithily told Politico.
Responding to this reporting late Wednesday, Fox News host Tucker Carlson bluntly stated that Milley is “a danger to the country” and “a reckless nutcase.”
The problem, he continued, is that there’s virtually zero chance that he’ll be held accountable by the administration of President Joe Biden.
After all, he said, Biden has for his part defended Milley:
“I have great confidence in Gen. Milley,” the president had said during a briefing earlier that afternoon.
Carlson wasn’t surprised.
“So for secretly revealing American military strategy to the Chinese government for threatening violence against a sitting American president, Mark Milley is not going to be punished. Are you surprised by this? Maybe you shouldn’t be. In Washington, this is normal. Colluding with the Chinese government is not considered a sin. It’s not even weird,” he said.
As an example, he played footage from 2015 of then-U.S. Army chief of staff Milley absurdly claiming “China is not an enemy” and that Russia is America’s only true threat.
“So Milley thinks China is winning, and so he’s sucking up to his new masters, so he tells us, ‘Russia’s the only country on Earth that has the capacity to destroy the United States.’ That’s absurd. Nobody believes that,” Carlson said.
“The Chinese military is far, far more powerful than anything Vladimir Putin controls. It’s not even close. Milley knows that, he’s lying about it. That should make you very nervous. Why is he lying about that? No one in Congress seems to care,” he added.
(Video: Fox News)
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