The military will not become involved in a disputed general election or in making any decision around removing President Trump, according to an off-the-record between press and the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley.
Axios reported that sources familiar with the call said Milley held the unorthodox meeting in order to calm the storm of speculation stirring around the military’s potential involvement in the contentious 2020 presidential election.
The chairman made it clear that the military’s function is apolitical and to “dispel any notion of a role for the military in adjudicating a disputed election or making any decision around removing a president from the White House,” Axios reported.
Milley reportedly assured the anchors that the United States military would not play a part in the peaceful transfer of power, adding that they shouldn’t be concerned if National Guard servicemembers are present at polling stations or other locations on Election Day.
Commander of the U.S. Cyber Command Paul Nakasone and National Guard chief Daniel Hokanson, two other four-star generals, were both present on the call.
As of Wednesday morning, the more than 3,000 activated National Guard members are working on states’ orders under the control of their respective governors. They are not federalized or serving at the behest of President Trump.
Democrat candidate for president Joe Biden contributed to the rumors during a recent interview with the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah. Biden said his “single greatest concern” was that President Trump would attempt to steal the election, adding that he was “absolutely convinced” the military would escort Trump from the White House if he refused to leave office.
Co-chairman of Biden’s campaign Cedric Richmond, a Democrat Representative from Louisiana, echoed the candidate’s comments regarding military intervention in the peaceful transfer of power, CNN reported.
“I believe the military generals and others will step up and make sure that there’s a peaceful transition of power,” Richmond said.
On Tuesday night, multiple swing states delayed counting votes for various reasons, including one county in Georgia that delayed due to a pipe bursting at a ballot processing site.
Both Wisconsin and Michigan saw staggering vote increases for Democrat candidate Joe Biden on Wednesday, including over 100,000 added to the count this early morning that helped propel the challenger into the lead in the Great Lakes State.