According to journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in their new book, “Peril,” the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley was so concerned that then-President Donald Trump would “go rogue” and “spark a war with China.” Accordingly, Milley made a “pair of secret phone calls” to his counterpart in China two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol protest, Fox News reported.
“Woodward and Costa write that after January 6, Milley ‘felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump and believed it was his job as the senior military officer to think the unthinkable and take any and all necessary precautions,’” according to a CNN writeup on the same report, that added that Milley thought Trump might “wag the dog” — provoke “a conflict domestically or abroad to distract from his crushing election loss.”
Two phone calls to Chinese officials
Mark Milley was so concerned about Trump attacking China that he appears to have undermined the Trump administration and communicated directly with Chinese officials.
“In a pair of secret phone calls, Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not strike,” the pair of reporters noted. “One call took place on Oct. 30, 2020, four days before the election that unseated President Trump, and the other on Jan. 8, 2021, two days after the Capitol siege carried out by his supporters in a quest to cancel the vote.”
“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be OK,” Milley told him during the first call, the book said. “We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you.”
According to Woodward and Costa, Milley appears to have communicated sensitive information to a Chinese general and even suggested that if he discovered Trump planned to attack, he would warn China ahead of time.
“Gen. Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time,” Milley added, as reported by the book, “Peril,” which is set to be released next week. “It’s not going to be a surprise.”
The authors of the book also claim Milley contacted Zuocheng a second time to reassure him that the U.S. would not make any type of advances or attack China in any form, as Milley promised, “We are 100% steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
Gen. Mark Milley spoke with Nancy Pelosi about Trump
According to the CNN report, Milley spoke with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), who appeared to be ready to take power herself.
“Milley received a blunt phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the book. Woodward and Costa exclusively obtained a transcript of the call, during which Milley tried to reassure Pelosi that the nuclear weapons were safe,” per CNN. “Pelosi pushed back.”
“What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do? And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?” Pelosi reportedly told the General. “You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time.”
Milley, the authors wrote, told Pelosi that he “agreed.”
Mark Milley told military officials not to take orders from Trump
Woodward and Costa write that after the call with Pelosi, Milley “decided he had to act” and told the military service chiefs and then-CIA director to watch everything “all the time.”
They wrote, “Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world.”
According to the book, Milley called the admiral in charge of the US Indo-Pacific Command and suggested that any additional military exercises be postponed. According to the book, Milley requested that senior officers swear a “oath” that his involvement would be required if Trump issued an order to launch nuclear weapons during his final days in office.
The book “is based on interviews with over 200 people conducted under the condition that they not be identified as sources.” According to an author’s note, exact quotations or conclusions are drawn from the described event’s participant, a colleague with direct knowledge, or relevant documents. Trump and Biden both declined to be interviewed, according to the Washington Post.