Gen Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has defended phone calls in which, according to a new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post he reassured his Chinese counterpart that the US would manage the transition from Donald Trump to Joe Biden without launching an attack on Beijing.
As Woodward and Costa reported, Milley made “two secret phone calls” with General Li Zuocheng.
A call is said to have taken place on October 30, 2020 – four days before the election. The other took place on January 8th, two days later Trump supporters attacked Congressto reverse this defeat.
In the first call, also sparked by tensions in the South China Sea and the origins of the coronavirus pandemic, Milley reportedly told Li, “I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything will be fine. We will not attack or carry out any kinetic operations against you. “
Milley also reportedly told the Chinese general that he would warn him if an attack was launched.
On the second call after the Capitol Rising, Milley said to Li, “We are 100% stable. All is well. But democracy can be sloppy at times. “
On a military flight today, Milley told reporters, “These are routine calls to discuss topical issues, to reassure both allies and opponents about this case. to ensure strategic stability.
“And these are entirely the responsibility of the chairman.”
Trump and his supporters have fought over the reported calls and accused the general of treasonous behavior. Biden said Milley retained his “great confidence” as the senior US general.
On his flight to Athens on NATO matters, Milley told reporters that he would like to use the calls to testify what to do in the Senate on September 28.
“I will go into every level of detail that Congress wants to go into,” he said.
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