Recently, reporting emerged indicating that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley had twice called his counterpart in China “to assure [Chinese General] Li [Zuocheng] the United States was stable and not going to attack and, if there were to be an attack, he would alert his counterpart ahead of time,” as Reuters put it in their report. Milley made these calls amid Trump’s only increasingly frenzied effort to stay in power, and the top general is also reported to have proactively moved against the possibility of Trump suddenly launching a nuclear strike.
Fox reporter Jennifer Griffin has now shot down the notion that Milley made those calls to the Chinese general essentially on his own. Recently, Republicans including Trump himself have run with this idea. In a new statement, Trump said that if Milley’s calls really happened, then he “assume[s] 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 assault on their country. Trump sure does like accusing his political opponents of “treason.” Can he even define it?
As Griffin explains, over a dozen people were apparently on the calls that Milley made to that Chinese general. In other words, he wasn’t exactly leading some kind of covert operation! Furthermore, Griffin says that materials recapping Milley’s conversations were shared with U.S. intelligence personnel. She explained as follows, directly responding to a statement claiming that Milley had “no understanding of the context in which he was making” calls:
‘I am told this is not true. There were 15 people on the video teleconference calls, including a representative of the State Dept and the read out and notes from Milley’s two calls with his Chinese counterpart were shared with the [intelligence community] and the Interagency.’
I am told this is not true. There were 15 people on the video teleconference calls, including a representative of the State Dept and the read out and notes from Milley’s two calls with his Chinese counterpart were shared with the IC and the Interagency. https://t.co/sGRvaKgLfS
— Jennifer Griffin (@JenGriffinFNC) September 15, 2021
Besides Trump’s promotion of the idea that Milley acted essentially unilaterally in his discussions with China, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also jumped on the notion, calling on Biden to fire Milley because of what the Senator described as Milley’s contemplation of “a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict” with China. Notably, nowhere in a letter that Rubio sent to Biden to that effect did the Senator acknowledge the dangers of Trump’s recklessly volatile behavior. As for Milley’s action to undercut the potential of Trump rashly launching nuclear weapons, the top general conducted “a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons,” where he directed those present “not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved,” CNN explains.