Former President Donald Trump claimed Wednesday that he was completely in the dark about Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaking to his Chinese counterpart in the final months of the his administration.
“Milley never told me about calls being made to China,” Trump said in an emailed statement from his Save America PAC. “From what I understand, he didn’t tell too many other people either. He put our Country in a very dangerous position but [Chinese] President Xi [Jinping] knows better, and would’ve called me.”
Gen. Milley’s contacts with a top Chinese military official were detailed in a forthcoming book co-authored by Watergate reporter Bob Woodward.
Woodward, a longtime Washington Post associate editor, and reporter Robert Costa reveal in their book “Peril” that Milley made two calls to People’s Liberation Army Gen. Li Zuocheng, one on Oct. 30, 2020 and the other on Jan. 8, 2021.
In the October call, Woodward and Costa report, Milley told Li that the US was “not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.” Milley reportedly went so far as to tell Li that if Trump did order military action against China, “I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
The conversation was apparently prompted by intelligence Milley had received warning that Beijing believed that Trump would soon greenlight a military operation targeting China.
“The way Milley and the Biden Administration handled the Afghanistan withdrawal, perhaps the most embarrassing moment in our Country’s history, would not exactly instill fear in China,” Trump said Wednesday before adding that “Milley is a complete nutjob!”
“The only reason Biden will not fire or court-martial Milley,” the former president concluded, “is because he doesn’t want him spilling the dirty secrets on Biden’s deadly disaster in Afghanistan.”
President Biden stood behind America’s top-ranking military officer Wednesday, telling reporters that he had “great confidence in General Milley” while press secretary Jen Psaki said the president had “complete confidence in Milley’s “leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution.”
Col. Dave Butler, a spo… (Read more)