WASHINGTON (AP) — Fearful of Donald Trump’s actions in his final weeks as president, the United States’ top military officer twice called his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the two nations would not suddenly go to war, a senior defense official said Tuesday after the conversations were described in excerpts from a forthcoming book.
The Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley assured Gen. Li Zuocheng of People’s Liberation Army the United States would not strike. The first call was on Oct. 30, 2020. This was four days prior to the victory of Trump. The second call took place on Jan. 8, 2021. This was just two days after the insurrection that erupted at the U.S. Capitol, which was orchestrated by supporters of the outgoing chief executives.
According to Robert Costa and Bob Woodward, Milley promised Li that he would alert his counterpart in case of an attack by the United States. The book was provided to the Associated Press. The Washington Post first reported details about the book, which will be published next week.
Milley informed him that General Li was safe and everything will be alright during his first call. “We will not attack you or conduct any kinetic operation against you.
“If I’m going against you, I’m going ahead and calling you.” Milley said that it was not surprising.
According to the defense official Milley’s message was a message of reassurance to Li on both occasions. Official questioned the suggestion that Milley had told Li that he would call Li first. Instead, the chairman said that the United States wasn’t going to attack China suddenly without any warning, whether through diplomatic, administrative, military channels.
Milley also spoke to a variety of chiefs of defense from around the globe in the days following the Jan. 6th riot. These included military leaders from Pakistan, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The January call logs showed that Milley also spoke to “several other” counterparts with similar messages. He assured them that the U.S. government is strong and in control.
Trump spoke by phone to Newsmax Tuesday to say that Milley’s calls could have been regarded as treason.
Trump stated, “If it’s true, which is difficult to believe, that Milley would call China and do these things and was willing advise them of an attacking, or in anticipation of an attack,” “It’s the most absurd thing that I’ve ever heard him say that I was going against China.”
China was worried about the Jan. 6 events and wanted to be placated by the second call. However, the book shows that Li was not so easy to calm down even though Milley promised him: “We are 100 percent stable. It’s all fine. Sometimes, democracy can get sloppy.
According to officials, Milley believed that the president had suffered from a mental decline following the election. She also agreed with Nancy Pelosi’s view in a Jan. 8 phone call.
Pelosi had stated previously that she spoke with Milley that day to discuss “available precautions” to stop Trump from initiating military action and ordering a nuke launch. However, she said that she was not given specific assurances about the existence of long-standing safeguards.
According to the book Milley called the admiral in charge of the U.S. Indo-Pacific Command. This military unit is responsible for Asia and Pacific, and suggested postponing any future military exercises. According to the book, Milley also asked for senior officers to swear that Milley would be involved in case Trump issued an order to start nuclear weapons.
Officials in January confirmed that Milley had spoken with Pelosi. This was made public by the House Speaker at the time. According to officials, the two spoke about the long-held safeguards that were in place for a nuclear attack. Officials said that Milley spoke to his commanders and staff about the process to confirm the procedures and make sure everyone understood them.
It is not clear what military exercises, if any were, were delayed. Defense officials believe it more likely that the military delayed an operation, such a U.S. Navy ship allowing freedom of navigation transit in the Pacific. Officials from defense spoke under anonymity in order to discuss confidential conversations.
Trump appointed Milley in 2018, and he later took the president’s ire when he said that he regretted participating in a photo op with Trump in June 2020. Federal law enforcement had cleared a park next to the White House from peaceful protesters in order for Trump to stand in front of a damaged church.
Senator Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) sent President Joe Biden a Tuesday letter in response to the book. He stated that Milley had worked to “actively undermine” the Commander in Chief of United States Armed Forces. Also, he contemplated a treasonous leak of classified material to the Chinese Communist Party ahead of a possible armed conflict with People’s Republic of China.
Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said that he was not concerned that Milley had exceeded his authority. He told reporters that while Democrats were circumspect with their language, many of us made it clear that they believed that Milley would avoid the “disaster” that could occur at any time.
A spokesperson from the Joint Staff declined comment.
Milley’s second warning for Beijing was issued after Trump fired Secretary Of Defense Mike Esper.
The book provides new insight into Trump’s attempts to keep power despite losing to Democrat Biden.
Trump refused to accept the offer and made false allegations that the election had been stolen. His vice president Mike Pence refused to confirm the results of the election at the Capitol on January 6. The event was interrupted later by the mob.
The book says that Pence called Dan Quayle a former vice-president and fellow Indiana Republican to see if he could accept Trump’s request. Quayle replied that there was no way.
“Mike, this is not something you can do. None. Zero. Forget it. Quayle stated, in accordance with the book, that he would put it away.
Pence finally agreed. To affirm Joe Biden’s victory, he defied Trump.
Trump was not pleased.
Trump said, “I don’t want to become your friend anymore if this happens,” and then told his vice president, “You’ve betrayed me.” You were nothing to me. You were nothing.”
Trump’s incessant efforts to convince William Barr, Attorney General, that the election was stolen are called “Peril”. Barr is quoted saying to Trump, “The Justice Department cannot take side, as you know between you and other candidates.” According to the book Barr determined that allegations of rigged voting machines were “not valid.” Barr was also disgusted at Rudolph Giuliani, others who claimed Trump had won, and called them “clown cars.”
Trump’s office did not immediately comment on the book.
Associated Press writers Hillel Italie in New York and Lisa Mascaro and Lolita Baldor contributed reporting.