Weeks after his comments on critical race theory went viral, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman General Mark Milley is once again facing outrage from Republicans for actions attributed to him in a new book by legendary journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Peril, detailing the final months of the Trump administration.
Their reporting claims that Milley, fearing Trump would dramatically escalate tensions with China in order to distract from a possible election loss, secretly called his Chinese counterpart to assure that the U.S. government was stable and that he wouldn't let the Chinese government be blindsided by a possible attack.
After Trump's election lies prompted a deadly failed insurrection against the United States Capitol, Milley called his counterpart again, reiterating that there would be a peaceful transfer of power.
Republicans have balked at the reporting, with Trump himself claiming Milley's actions were tantamount to treason.
Trump said of the "dumbass" General in a written statement:
"I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President's back and telling China that he would be giving them notification 'of an attack.'"
In a Wednesday press briefing, White House press secretary Jen Psaki was asked if the White House stood by Milley.
“This current president … who’s not fomenting an insurrection, who follows the rule of law, has complete confidence… https://t.co/4rVoT9ZX4J— The Recount (@The Recount) 1631725846.0
"I can't speak to the former President's experience with [Milley] or the former President's views of him, but this President—this current President who follows the Constitution, who's not fomenting an insurrection, who follows the rule of law—has complete confidence in Chairman Milley and him continuing to serve in his role."
The response reiterated that Milley's duty was to prevent unlawful Military action, and that Trump—whose lies prompted an insurrection and whose use of the Military was controversial at best—arguably acted at odds with that objective.
People respected Psaki's response.
That's a fact. https://t.co/rXK3Ie54yj— Liss_Sassy ~Honesty Is my best Policy 🔥🔥🔥~ (@Liss_Sassy ~Honesty Is my best Policy 🔥🔥🔥~) 1631729671.0
This is sweet. Like caramel covered popcorn. https://t.co/Fv6Vm8IpmJ— MS Fisher (@MS Fisher) 1631735355.0
Press Sec. Jen Psaki with the mic drop! 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽 https://t.co/IixZ7xXWL5— Meidas_Can_We_Restart_2021? (@Meidas_Can_We_Restart_2021?) 1631725889.0
They're defending Milley as well.
Who else agrees that General Milley should be saluted, not attacked, for possibly preventing Trump from starting a nuclear war? ✋— Really American 🇺🇸 (@Really American 🇺🇸) 1631720364.0
By attacking Gen Milley, Republicans are de facto saying that the Woodward book is factual and accurate. IF they be… https://t.co/Lt0AcbfUtr— Duty To Warn 🔉 (@Duty To Warn 🔉) 1631716063.0
Donald Trump was entertaining discussions about invoking the Insurrection Act to seize voting machines and force a… https://t.co/2PDQL3etIo— S.V. Dáte (@S.V. Dáte) 1631715041.0
The Biden administration has no plans to dismiss Milley.