Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) called on President Joe Biden to fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley on Tuesday after excerpts from a forthcoming book alleged the general called a Chinese military counterpart and promoved to warn China if the U.S. military were to attack.
According to excerpts from the new book, “Peril” by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley held secret phone calls with a Chinese counterpart on Oct. 30, 2020, and on Jan. 8, 2021. In one of the phone calls, Milley allegedly said, “General 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. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
Reacting to Milley’s alleged remarks, Rubio called on Biden to fire the general, in a letter title “Fire General Milley Now.”
“I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC),” Rubio wrote. “These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.”
According to the new book, Milley also told his subordinates to talk with him before following any military instructions from Trump. Milley also spoke with one of Trump’s political rival, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, about preventing the president from accessing nuclear launch codes.
Pelosi reportedly called Milley and said, “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? You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time.”
Milley reportedly responded to Pelosi, “Madam Speaker, I agree with you on everything.”
The Washington Post reported Pelosi asked Milley, “What precautions are available to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike?” Milley reportedly assured Pelosi there are “a lot of checks in the system.”
Responding to Milley’s alleged comments about the U.S. nuclear codes, Rubio wrote, “Reports indicate that General Milley interfered with the procedures by which the civilian commander-in-chief can order a nuclear strike. He purportedly instructed officials not to take orders without his involvement and forced them to take an oath to that effect. A senior military officer interfering with that civilian-controlled process is simply unacceptable at best, and at worst, would cause ambiguity which could lead to war.”
“General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military’s judgement as more stable than its civilian commander,” Rubio continued. “It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military. You must immediately dismiss General Milley. America’s national security and ability to lead in the world are at stake.”
Rubio is not the only lawmaker who has called for Milley’s removal.
Following Rubio’s remarks, Sen. Rand Paul (R-FL) tweeted a call for Milley to be court-martialed and removed, if his alleged actions prove true.
“I don’t care what you think of President Trump, the Chairman of the JCOS working to subvert the military chain of command and collude with China is exactly what we do not accept from military leaders in our country,” Paul tweeted. “He should be court martialed if true.”