US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley has defended himself after a new book revealed that he had made secret phone calls to China amid concerns about former US President Donald Trump’s intentions.
The calls the general made in October and January last year were aimed at reassuring China, the general said Wednesday.
Trump has said the allegations are untrue, and some members of the Republican Party have called for the general to be fired.
President Joe Biden emphasized that his confidence in General Milley was very high.
The spokesman for General Milley said that the calls were among his duties and responsibilities in reassuring China to maintain strategic stability.
The calls with Chinese General Li Zucheng were revealed Tuesday, in the form of excerpts from a new book written by investigative journalists from The Washington Post.
The calls were made shortly after the last presidential election and after Trump refused to concede defeat.
The book states that the general was afraid of losing control of Trump’s behavior.
According to the book, the general told the Chinese general that the American government was stable and assured him that the United States would not launch an attack against China, and if that happened, the Chinese would be alerted, according to the excerpts taken from the book.
The book also states that General Milley told his subordinates that if Trump orders a nuclear strike, he must wait for confirmation from him before carrying it out.
Trump accused General Milley of treason and described what he said as “false”, in a statement issued by him.
Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on President Biden to fire the general.
White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Wednesday at a news conference that President Biden has high confidence in the general’s leadership, patriotism and devotion to the Constitution.
She added that Biden wants General Milley to continue to perform his duties.
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