On Wednesday, a new episode of the Matt Gaetz clown show unfolded, as the Florida Congressman went after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley during a hearing of the House Armed Services Committee. At one point, Gaetz claimed that Milley “spent more time with Bob Woodward on this book” (in reference to Woodward’s new book, Peril) than he did “analyzing the very likely prospect that the Afghanistan government was going to fall immediately to the Taliban.” Does Gaetz have trouble connecting with reality? His statement is nonsensical. No, Gen. Milley didn’t spend more time talking with Woodward than doing his job — and Milley pointed out that it was “not even close.”
After additional barely sensical rambling, Gaetz again singled out Milley. Recently, Milley has faced criticism over calls that he made to a top Chinese general towards the end of the Trump administration. Those calls were meant to reassure the Chinese that the U.S. would not be attacking China, and Milley has also been reported to have told that general that he would notify Chinese officials of any impending U.S. assault. Milley has explained how characterizing these calls as some kind of rogue effort is ridiculous. He conducted the calls in coordination with staff members for the head of the Defense Department, and he was not the only person on the U.S. side on either call. But, Gaetz still accused Milley of “undermining the chain of command.”
Gaetz angrily ranted as follows:
‘We’re not questioning your personal conduct. We’re questioning, in your official capacity, going and undermining the chain of command, which is obviously what you did.’
Milley succinctly noted in reply that he did “not undermine the chain of command,” but Gaetz was babbling to the point of essentially talking right over both Milley and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, who was also present at the hearing. After Gaetz insisted once again that Milley had “absolutely” undercut the chain of command, Milley shot back once more that, in fact, he “did not” do any such thing. It’s not even a matter of opinion — he conducted the calls in question in direct contact with the chain of command at the Defense Department. Gaetz is just being ridiculous.
Check out Gaetz’s meltdown below: