Amid heavy criticism, spokesman said military civilians met did not go out of control
A spokesman for General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended the allegations of “secret” calls with his Chinese counterpart, saying the talks were “important to reduce tensions” and “avoid unexpected consequences or conflict”. ” Is. The call was coordinated with high level defense officials.
“The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Defense regularly communicates with defense chiefs around the world, including China and Russia. These conversations are aimed at improving mutual understanding of US national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity, and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict. important to.” Milley’s spokesman, Colonel Dave Butler, said in a statement on Wednesday.
Butler said that “Meet’s calls with the Chinese and others in October and January were reassuring to maintain strategic stability while keeping these duties and responsibilities in mind.”
“All calls made by the president to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and interagency,” Butler said.
Milli, who was secretly called Chinese officials out of fear, will ‘attack’ in the last days, claims the book
Butler continued, “In keeping with his responsibilities as senior military adviser to the President and the Secretary of Defense, General Milley frequently holds meetings with uniformed leaders across all services to keep all leaders informed of current issues.” ” “The meeting regarding the Nuclear Weapons Protocol was intended to remind uniformed leaders at the Pentagon of long-established and robust procedures in light of media reporting on the subject.”
Butler said: “General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the legitimate tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution.”
The allegations, included in the book “Peril,” co-written by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, state that Milley made two secret phone calls to both his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army. . The book alleges that the phone calls took place before the 2020 presidential election, on October 30, 2020, and again on January 8, 2021, two days after the January 6 Capitol riots.
The book claims that Milley contacted Li after reviewing intelligence that Chinese officials believed the United States was planning an attack on China amid military exercises in the South China Sea. Was.
Mark Milly’s alleged China call ‘violates the law’, says retired colonel
The book’s authors also claim that Milley contacted Lee for a second time to assure him that the US would not make any progress or attack China in any way, as Milley promised, “We 100% stable. Everything is fine. But democracy can get muddy sometimes.”
But Granthshala News spoke with several individuals who were in the room during the two phone calls with Lee of Miley. The call was coordinated with the Office of the Secretary of Defense.
“They weren’t secret,” a US official told Granthshala News of the video teleconference call.
Granthshala News has learned that about 15 people were present for the call. Sources told Granthshala News that several notetakers were present, and that the calls were made with the full knowledge of both then-Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and then-Acting Secretary of Defense Chris Miller.
A familiar US official said Miley regularly calls his Chinese and Russian counterparts, adding that he has been speaking to Li for nearly five years. This is normal for the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the source said.
According to the official, there was full civilian surveillance of the phone calls, including a State Department representative and Milley’s political adviser. The official said notes of the calls were taken and a brief note was sent to the defense secretary and the intelligence community.
Another participant who overheard the conversation told Granthshala News, “It wasn’t some sort of conspiracy.”
According to people familiar, the October phone call contained several topics, one of which focused on the election. According to sources, the Chinese were concerned about the instability in the American system. According to a source, Milley assured his counterpart that America was a stable democracy.
Another source said the call was in reference to assuring opponents that the United States was not planning any military action.
Granthshala News learned that Millie had 20 phone calls with Lee and NATO allies in the wake of the January 6 riots, to reassure them that the US government was stable, and to reassure China that the US did not do anything. was not planned. Sudden attack – in an effort to de-escalate tensions with China during the interim period between elections and inauguration, and to project stability so that US adversaries do not take advantage of domestic turmoil during that period.
Tom Cotton: Gen. Millie to testify before Congress on reports of secret calls to China
Another official present for the call said “it was a stability, confidence-building measure, not a subversive one,” calling the reporting “even more ridiculous” about Milley’s attempt to insert himself into the nuclear chain of command.
Meanwhile, the Woodward-Costa book also addresses a phone call between Milley and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who discussed their concerns that Trump was “crazy” after the Capitol riot, and inspired Millie to take up nuclear football. did.
According to sources, Milley reassured Pelosi that “nuclear weapons are fine,” and told the speaker that “we have procedures, checks and balances in place.”
Sources told Granthshala News that Milley contacted General Hyten, the vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and several other officials to review and understand the procedures.
“The president has the sole power to launch nuclear weapons, but the president alone does not launch nuclear weapons,” one official told Granthshala News.
The review lasted about 10 minutes, and was intended to remind that the president – any president – will have a conference call when he decides to launch a nuclear weapon.
“It is standard operating procedure,” an official said.
The chairman of the joint chiefs is not in the chain of command to authorize force or nuclear launch, but is the top military adviser to the president. Launching nuclear weapons requires layers of verification through the Pentagon in Nebraska and the US Strategic Command, which oversees all nuclear forces. According to people familiar with the conversation, including members of the Joint Chiefs, Milley never inserted himself into that chain of command.
Milley is set to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 28. The hearing was set to focus on Afghanistan, but officials now expect Milley Woodward-Costa to answer questions from the book under oath.
“This book does raise some serious concerns and, I would say, some of the allegations seem somewhat far-fetched to me,” Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas told Granthshala News on Wednesday, adding that he met “to testify before Congress.” We’re leaving “in a few days, and we’ll address these concerns.”
“We don’t want to jump to any conclusions just yet, but we will certainly investigate them and see what really happened,” Cotton said.
He added: “We’ll make sure he addresses it, but it’s one of those claims that, obviously, seems a bit far-fetched.”
Cotton said, “The idea that a US military general is going to warn an adversary that an attack is coming, as you say, when Donald Trump didn’t even think about a military strike against China. ” “The whole thing is too far-fetched.”