President Biden backed Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley following news the general spoke with a top Chinese military official during the late stages of the Trump administration.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley placed two phone calls to his Chinese counterpart in the waning months of Donald Trump’s presidency to secretly reassure Beijing that the United States would not attack the country, a spokesman for Milley confirmed Wednesday.
Press Secretary Jen Psaki explained Biden’s confidence in Milley, saying, “And the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution.”
Press Secretary Jen Psaki:
"The President has complete confidence in [Gen. Milley's] leadership, his patriotism, and his fidelity to our Constitution." pic.twitter.com/djInkcfdVu
— Alex Salvi (@alexsalvinews) September 15, 2021
Biden’s views were in response to information revealed in a new book written by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa where they wrote Milley called China’s General Li Zuocheng to assure the general the U.S. was not going to attack China.
CBS News reported on the statement from Milley’s spokesperson Colonel Dave Butler about the phone calls.
“His calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability,” Butler said in a written statement. “All calls from the chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency.”
Biden also directly expressed his view on Milley.
BIDEN: "I have great confidence in General Milley" pic.twitter.com/WAj4vIKrtM
— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) September 15, 2021
Despite the statement by Butler, former Acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said he didn’t approve of the conversation.
"Trump Acting Defense Sec. Miller says he 'did not' authorize Milley China calls, says he should resign" ⬇️https://t.co/ktxg17YTZu
— Kayleigh McEnany (@kayleighmcenany) September 15, 2021
Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) expressed concern before it was verified Milley actually made the calls.
I hope reports of Gen. Milley reaching out to his Chinese counterpart to undermine a sitting President is proven false
Because if this is true it wasn’t an act of patriotic heroism
It was an act of treachery that posed a grave risk to our security & our constitutional order pic.twitter.com/vvLE5gtN8j
— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) September 15, 2021
Newsmax TV reported on calls for Milley to resign.
Increasing calls for Gen. Mark Milley to resign continues after he was reported promising to warn China if Trump took military action against them. @EmeraldRobinson. https://t.co/VlT7z8drtO pic.twitter.com/ssB802sauQ
— Newsmax (@newsmax) September 15, 2021
Milley previously declared “China is not an enemy” during a security summit.
General Mark Milley rants that China is “not an enemy” during a national security summit (2015) pic.twitter.com/uFKBhWXnFS
— Jewish Deplorable (@TrumpJew2) September 15, 2021
It’s outrageous Milley made two secret phone calls to China and he should be fired.
However, Biden is backing Milley which sends a terrible message and precedent regarding the role of the military and the president.