Chief of Staff Mark Milley called on Chinese General Li Cuo-cheng first on October 30, 2020, four days before the US presidential election, and second on January 8, two days after Trump’s supporters occupied the US Congress building.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the US government is stable and that all will be well,” Milley said in his first telephone interview. He called him because intelligence services indicated that because of a military exercise in the South China Sea and because of Trump’s hostile statements against Beijing, China was convinced that the United States was planning an attack.
General Li, you and I have known each other for five years. If we attack you, I’ll call you in time
Chief of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley according to the book Danger
“We will not attack you or conduct any combat operations against you,” Milley assured him at the time.
However, he went even further when he promised the Chinese general that if the US was going to attack, it warned him in advance. “General Li, you and I have known each other for five years. If we attack you, I’ll call you in time. It will not be a surprise, “said Milley, according to the book.
He prevented the use of a nuclear weapon
After Donald Trump lost the presidential election, Milley took a series of steps in January to prevent a possible order from the outgoing president to detonate nuclear weapons.
He ordered senior military officials not to take orders from anyone else without his knowledge. “You never know what the president’s starting point is,” the general told his subordinates.
So did the same as in August 1974, US Secretary of Defense James Schlesinger, who at the time of the Watergate affair told the General Staff to verify a possible order of attack from Richard Nixon with him.
The second phone call did not dispel China’s concerns
Milley called Lima for the second time on January 8, but then he was less convinced that the United States would not attack. “We are 100 percent stable. Everything is fine, only democracy can sometimes be sloppy, “he said.
According to the authors, the general knew why Li disagreed with him. He agreed with the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, that Trump had lost his mental abilities. She told Milley openly about her concerns on the phone. “I’m trying to tell you that if they couldn’t deter him from attacking the Capitol, who knows what he’ll do next. And is there anyone in the leadership of the White House who does anything other than climb into his fat ass? You know he’s crazy, ”Pelosi told him. According to the book, Milley told her that he agreed with her in everything.
However, other forces also feared a right-wing coup in the United States. CIA Director Gina Haspel told Milley, “We’re on our way to an ultra-right coup.”
According to Republicans, Milley is a traitor
According to Reuters, Trump questioned the allegations and called them “fabricated”. He then described Milley’s actions as a “betrayal” for which he should be tried.
“I never thought about attacking China,” Trump told the conservative television network Newsmax.
Marco Rubio, a senior Republican on the Senate Secret Service Committee, wrote a letter to US President Joe Biden urging Milley to appeal immediately. He was to weaken the staff and “considered the treacherous transfer of secret information to the Chinese Communist Party before a possible armed conflict.”
Milley was appointed head of staff in 2018 by Trump. He began to criticize him after losing the election battle with Biden.
The General Office and White House Deputy Spokeswoman Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment.