Pentagon General Mark Milley had to make calls to his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the US would not attack his country and avoid an armed conflict.
Fearful of the actions of Donald Trump in his last weeks as president, the top military officer of the United States was forced to take precautions to limit the military capacity of the then president and had to convince China that the two nations would not go to the war, according to a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post.
Published excerpts from the text titled ‘Peril’ (‘Danger’) reveal that in the wake of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, summoned senior military commanders at the Pentagon to review the Army’s action processes, including the use of nuclear weapons, and instructed them not to carry out orders without him being informed.
Milley’s actions were reportedly motivated by a phone call with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Nancy Pelosi, who expressed concern about the possibility that “an unstable president” could order military hostilities or even a nuclear attack.
“You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time ,” Pelosi said, to which Milley “agreed on everything,” according to the transcript of the conversation obtained by reporters.
The book also recounts that Milley had to act twice with calls to his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng, to ensure that the US would not attack his country, collects AP. Beijing believed that Washington was preparing an attack after US military exercises in the South China Sea and Trump’s recurring attacks on the Asian giant.
The first dialogue occurred on October 30, 2020, four days before the presidential elections. “General Li, I assure you that the US government is stable and everything is fine. We will not attack … And if we are going to attack, I will warn you,” Milley told his Chinese counterpart on that occasion.
The second call took place on January 8, 2021, two days after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol. At the time, Li seemed not entirely happy with Milley’s reassuring words when he saw what was happening in Washington. And the US military chief understood it, because he himself believed that the president had suffered “a mental decline” , which led him to postpone military exercises and take preventive measures within the institution.
The new post also provides updates on Trump’s efforts to stay in power after losing the election. The president pressured his vice president, Mike Pence, to refuse to certify the results of the proclamation on Capitol Hill. “I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this. You have betrayed us. I did you when you were nothing,” Trump reproached Pence after he finally refused to play along.
In response to the media coverage that the content of the new book unleashed, Donald Trump called it “fake news” and lashed out at the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. “If the story of silly General Mark Milley, the same failed leader who engineered the worst retreat from a country, Afghanistan, in American history … is true, then I suppose he should be tried for treason. ” the former president said in a statement.
INBOX re: Milley 👀 pic.twitter.com/hqUeTvQ6xr— Jenna Ellis (@JennaEllisEsq) September 14, 2021
Trump also alleged that the story presented was “made up by a weak and ineffective general” along with two authors who he refused to give an interview “because they write fiction and not fact.” “For the record, I never thought of attacking China, and China knows it. The people who made the story are sick and insane, and the people who print it are just as bad,” he added.