Former Defense Secretary Denies Authorizing Mark Milley Conversations, Calls on Him to Resign

 

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Former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller on Wednesday denied authorizing Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley to engage in conversations about the prospect of subverting the president, saying the law “prohibited” Milley from doing so.

“The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is the highest-ranking military officer whose sole role is providing military-specific advice to the president, and by law is prohibited from exercising executive authority to command forces,” Miller said in a statement obtained by Fox News. “The chain of command runs from the president to the secretary of Defense, not through the chairman.”

Miller’s comments followed assertions earlier in the day from anonymous Pentagon officials quoted in numerous publications who said Milley’s actions had been approved by Miller’s predecessor, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper. Trump fired Esper in November, six days after the presidential election, and replaced him with Miller.

Milley allegedly called his Chinese counterpart, People’s Liberation Army Gen. Li Zuocheng, on Oct. 30 and on Jan. 8 to reassure him that he would warn China if former President Donald Trump sought to launch an offensive against the country during his final days in office.

“We are 100 percent steady,” Milley told Zuocheng, according to an account published on Tuesday by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. “Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

 

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