UPDATED 7:26 AM PT – Thursday, September 16, 2021
The chairman of the Joints Chiefs has tried to defend his actions after it was revealed he may have made contact with Chinese officials behind the back of 45th President Donald Trump.
In a statement on Wednesday, a spokesperson for Gen. Mark Milley said his talks with Chinese officials last October and this past January were aimed at “maintaining strategic stability.” The spokesperson continued, claiming Milley acted within his “authority in tradition of civilian control of the military.”
Milley’s defense came after investigative journalist Bob Woodward found Milley reassured China he would not carry out President Trump’s orders and he would also warn Beijing if the Trump authorized military action against China. Critics have said Milley’s actions could amount to treason.
“Mark Milley is a threat to the American Republic and he’s clearly not a Republican,” asserted political commentator Dr. Sebastian Gorka. “And he clearly does not believe in America first. He is a coward and he’s a dangerous coward.”
If we lived in a Republic with rule-of-law, Mark Milley would have been arrested and already on trial for treason.
— Sebastian Gorka DrG (@SebGorka) September 15, 2021
Amid the controversy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Joe Biden has full confidence in Milley as a “man of honor.” Far-left commentators in mainstream media have also praised Milley as a “hero” and a “real patriot.” However, it isn’t just Psaki who has come to the general’s defense.
“That it is not only common, it’s expected that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff would continue to have counterpart conversations,” stated Department of Defense spokesperson John Kirby.
On Wednesday, Kirby also claimed Milley’s talks with Beijing last October and this past January were not inappropriate.
“I’m not speaking to the validity of things that are in the book, but it is completely appropriate for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as the senior military adviser to both the secretary and the president, to want to see those protocols reviewed on whatever frequent basis that that he wants to do that,” he continued.
GOP lawmakers, including Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) along with President Trump himself, have since harshly criticized Milley for talking to China behind the back of the commander-in-chief.