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WASHINGTON, D.C. – In a House Armed Services Committee hearing held last Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Jim Banks (R-IN) spent the majority of the time allotted to him questioning Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley about a report in a recent book published by Washington Post writers where he allegedly compared specific conservative media outlets to terrorists.
Most of the hearing was focused on questioning several officials – including Milley – on the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, but aspects of the January 6, 2021 riots at the U.S. Capitol Building figured into the discussion as well.
“Peril,” written by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward – who is famous for his reporting on the infamous Watergate scandal – and national political reporter Robert Costa, chronicles the end of the presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the presidential transition and early presidency of Joe Biden.
In the book, it is alleged that Milley had characterized right-leaning news organizations “the Epoch Times” and “Newsmax” as “domestic terrorists”
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Banks questioned Milley on his quotes about the two news groups, asking him his “notes about January 6th reference both Epoch Times and Newsmax, as on a list of domestic terrorists?”
Milley responded that he did not recall the conversation at all, to which Banks pointed out that it was featured in Woodward and Costa’s book.
“It may be in the book. I haven’t read the book,” Milley said. “I’m not recalling a conversation about Newsmax.”
“Do you have a notebook that lists Newsmax and Epoch Times as domestic terrorists as recounted by the Bob Woodward book Peril? Was Bob Woodward lying to us in the book?” Banks asked.
“I don’t know,” Milley responded. “I don’t recall any conversation about Epoch Times.”
Banks followed by asking if Milley believed if “Newsmax and Epoch Times are domestic terrorist or their viewers and readers?”
“No, not at all. I don’t think Epoch Times or Newsmax are domestic terrorist organizations,” Milley said, and then agreed to produce materials backing up his claims contradicting Woodward and Costa’s book to the committee.
However, Milley noted that he had conducted an interview with Woodward for his book because he believes in a free press.
“Part of my job is to communicate to the media what we do as a government, what we do as a military,” he said. “I think it’s part of a senior official’s job to be transparent. I believe in a free press.”
Milley has been under fire recently after it was reported he had made contact with his Chinese counterpart during the presidency of Donald Trump and said he would inform them ahead of time if Trump was planning any military actions – including a nuclear strike – against China.