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WASHINGTON, D.C. – President Joe Biden defended beleaguered General Mark Milley this week after it was reported he had made contact with his Chinese counterpart during the presidency of Donald Trump and said he would inform them if Trump was planning any military actions – including a nuclear strike – against China.
“I have great confidence in General Milley,” Biden said to reporters on Wednesday.
The news broke earlier this week when excerpts from “Peril,” a book written by the Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa allege that Milley called General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army on October 30 and January 8 and told him that if Trump ordered a military strike on China, he would warn him.
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley purportedly told Zuocheng, attempting to clam Chinese officials over fears of an American attack.
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Allegedly, Milley was approved to have made the first call by then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, and the second call by then-acting Defense Secretary Chris Miller, which Miller has since denied happening.
Top Republicans – including Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) – have called Milley’s phone calls “treasonous” and have called for his resignation.
“It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others,” Rubio said. “It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military.”
When asked for a comment on the development, Trump issued a statement via an email from his Save America PAC, referring to Milley as a “nutjob.”
“Milley never told me about calls being made to China. 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,” he said. “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. Milley is a complete nutjob!”