Florida Senator Marco Rubio to President Biden: Fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley Now

Book alleges Milley made two secret phone calls to Chinese Military People’s Liberation Army

U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to immediately fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley. A new book alleges that Milley made two secret phone calls, both to his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army.

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) sent a letter to President Joe Biden calling on him to immediately fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley.

In a new book, authored by Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa, it is alleged that Milley made two secret phone calls, both to his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army. The book alleges that the phone calls took place prior to the 2020 presidential election on Oct. 30, 2020, and two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, on Jan. 8, 2021.

The book also says Milley contacted Zuocheng a second time to tell him that the U.S. would not make any type of advances or attack China in any form, as Milley promised, “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”

Those phone calls, according to the book, were never mentioned to President Donald Trump, and Milley also called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., on Jan. 8, the same day he called Zuocheng the second time.

According to Pelosi, she spoke with Milley that day about “available precautions” to prevent President Trump from engaging in military action.

SENATOR MARCO RUBIO: “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).”

“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.”

“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 concluded.

Rubio is a senior member of the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and Vice Chairman of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.

The full text of the letter is below:

Dear Mr. President:

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). These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately.

It has been reported that General Milley spoke with his counterpart in the People’s Liberation Army after learning the PRC was worried about escalating tensions as a result of military exercises conducted in the South China Sea. Reportedly, General Milley told his counterpart: “[y]ou 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.”  I do not need to tell of you the dangers posed by senior military officers leaking classified information on U.S. military operations, but I will underscore that such subversion undermines the President’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power in his interactions with foreign nations. 

Even more egregiously, 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 was more stable than its civilian commander. 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.

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