The senior military commander told the AP news agency this Friday, September 17, that the calls he made to his Chinese counterpart were “perfectly within his duties and responsibilities.”
As recounted by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, in their book titled “Danger,” Milley was concerned about Trump’s “state of mind” for which he called General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army to assure him that the United States would not suddenly go to war or attack China.
Milley had not clarified whether what was written in the book was true or not, but this Friday he admitted to frequent calls and noted that explanations will be reserved for when he testifies at a congressional hearing.
“I think it’s best that I reserve my comments on the record until I do that in front of the lawmakers who have the lawful responsibility to oversee the U.S. military,” Milley said. “I’ll go into any level of detail Congress wants to go into in a couple of weeks,” he noted.
According to Fox News, neither former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo nor former National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien knew of any intelligence information suggesting that Chinese officials believed the United States was planning an attack on the Asian country.
The alleged information was the basis for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to contact his Chinese counterpart.
Former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who was in office during the 2020 post-election period through Inauguration Day, said he “did not and would never authorize” Milley to have such calls, and described the allegations in the book as “shameful and unprecedented act of insubordination.”
However, officials told Fox News that the calls were “not secret” and were coordinated with the Defense secretary’s office.
“Fox News learned that 15 officials were present for the calls, which were conducted via video conferencing. Sources familiar with the calls said that there were notetakers present for the calls, and that they had been made with the knowledge of Miller and his predecessor, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper,” the news outlet added.
Accused of being a “traitor”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio, vice-chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, sent a letter to Biden demanding Milley’s immediate dismissal. He assured that if the journalists’ claims were confirmed, what Milley did “was not an act of heroism but of treason, our security and our constitutional order are at stake.”
In addition to Rubio’s statements, Republican Senator Josh Hawley said that if confirmed, if Milley does not resign “he should be dismissed.”