Former acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said that General Mark Milley should resign immediately. Miller headed the Defense Department under former President Donald Trump between November 2020 to January 2021.
As Defense Secretary, he said that he “did not and would not ever authorize” the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to have “secret” calls with his Chinese counterpart. He called Milley’s actions a “disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination.”
Former Defense Secretary Miller Says Milley Circumvented Chain Of Command
In a statement to Fox News, Miller said that the United States Armed Forces “operated under the inviolable principle of civilian control of the military”.
The position of Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking military officer. However, he is prohibited from exercising executive authority to command forces.
He explained that the normal chain of command runs from the President to the Secretary of Defense. It does not go to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Trump-appointed General Mark Milley to the position of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Miller referenced allegations from the new book “Peril,” written by Washington Post veterans Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. Milley allegedly made two secret but separate phone calls to his Chinese counterpart General Li Zoucheng.
The first call happened before the November 2020 elections and the second happened two days after the January 6 Capitol riots. In both calls, Milley assured the Chinese that the US will not attack Chinese forces. If ever the US would plan an attack, Milley would give Li an advanced warning.
Secret Phone Calls Not So Secret
Fox News confirmed that the secret phone calls were not so secret at all. It said it managed to speak with multiple individuals who were present in the room when Milley called Li.
Then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper is also aware of the phone calls. “They were not secret,” a US official told Fox News. Around 15 people witnessed the calls, which were videoconferences.
Fox News also said that both Esper and Miller knew about the calls. However, Miller denied being aware of the matter. “If the reporting in Woodward’s book is accurate, it represents a disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination by the Nation’s top military officer,” Miller said.
He added that if the story of Milley’s “histrionic outbursts and unsanctioned, anti-Constitutional involvement in foreign policy prove true, he must resign immediately or be fired by the Secretary of Defense to guarantee the sanctity of the officer corps.”
Miller Supports Trump, Says He Was Not Planning To Go To War With China
Miller also defended Trump from allegations he wanted to start a fight with China. “Any accusations that President Trump was intent on starting a war with China are completely unfounded,” he said.
“President Trump absolutely believed and advocated for a more aggressive approach to China, but he was elected to end our Nation’s wars, not start new ones. I was proud to play a small role in achieving those goals,” he said. Miller added that he looks forward to a full but non-partisan investigation into the allegations contained in Woodward’s book.
Meanwhile, a US official who wished to remain anonymous maintained that Milley routinely calls his Chinese and Russian counterparts. He explained the general regularly talks to Li and other military leaders.
For Li, in particular, Milley has been speaking to Li for about five years. The source also said that these actions are normal for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
Watch the Forbes Breaking News reporting that the Pentagon wants to hold a briefing after reports on Milley's actions in the final days Of the Trump administration:
Do you agree that General Mark Milley should resign as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff? Should the present government continue to trust him when he seems to act on his own?
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