Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley has hit back at Donald Trump after the former President called for his death for ‘traitorous’ discussions with China.
In a post to Truth Social, the former President hit out at Milley who he claims went behind the Trump administration’s back to reach out to officials in Beijing.
Trump wrote: ‘If the Fake News reporting is correct [Milley] was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States.
‘This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!’
Speaking to 60 Minutes, Milley responded: ‘I’ve got adequate safety and precautions, I wish those comments had not been made but they were .
‘I’ll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family.’
Fromer President Donald Trump delivers a statement about Iran as U.S. Army Chief of Staff General James McConville and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley listen
Milley has now responded to Trump, saying he has ‘adequate’ security in place and that he wished the comments hadn’t been made
Milley said: ‘I am a soldier, I’ve been faithful and loyal to the constitution of the United States for 44 and a half years.
‘My family and I have sacrificed greatly for this country, my mother and father before them.
‘As much as these comments are directed at me, it’s also directed at the institution of the military.
‘There’s 2.1 million of us in uniform, and the American people can take it to the bank that all of us, every single one of us, from private to general we’re loyal to that constitution.
‘We’ll never turn our back on it, no matter the threats, no matter the humiliation, no matter what.
‘If we are willing to die for that document, if we are willing to deploy to combat, if we are willing to lose an arm, leg [or] an eye, to protect and support and defend that document and protect the American people, then we are willing to live for it too.
‘I’m not going to comment directly on those things but I can tell you that this military, this soldier, me, will never turn our back on that constitution.’
When asked if there was anything inappropriate or treasonous about the calls he made to the China he replies: ‘Absolutely not, zero, none.’
Milley had previously told Senators at a hearing that calls to China were routine and done with the knowledge of Trump officials.
In his post, Trump had also branded the calls as a ‘treasonous act’ that could have resulted in a war between China and the U.S.
China’s People’s Liberation Army (PLA) General Li Zuocheng (L) and Milley review an honour guard during a welcome ceremony at the Bayi Building in Beijing on August 16, 2016
In a post to Truth Social, the former President hit out at Milley who he claims went behind the Trump administration’s back to reach out to officials in Beijing
Former President Trump speaks as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley, right, listens during a briefing in the Cabinet Room at the White House
Milley is said to have made the calls to his Chinese counterpart behind Trump’s back over concerns the ex-President would take rogue action to stay in office.
During a hearing in 2021, Milley defended his calls to China during the Trump presidency.
At the hearing, Milley said: ‘I was communicating to my Chinese counterpart – on instructions, by the way – to deescalate the situation.
‘And I told him that we are not going to attack. President Trump has no intent to attack, and I told him that repeatedly.
‘I told him if there was going to be an attack, there will be plenty of communications going back and forth, your Intel system will pick it up.
‘I said, I’ll probably call you. Everybody will call you. We’re not going to attack you, just settle down, it is not going to happen. I did it twice, in October and January.’
At the same hearing, Milley also told Senators that he never discussed his phone calls with former President Trump himself.
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a rally in Summerville, S.C., Monday, Sept. 25, 2023
Former President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit outside St. John’s Church, in Washington with General Milley in June 2020
After the hearing, Trump branded Milley as ‘treasonous’ and called him ‘a complete nutjob’ and that Milley never told him about the calls made to China.
In his opening statement, Milley claimed people within the ex-president’s inner circle were made aware of the call near-immediately after.
Trump named Milley to the top military post in 2018, where he served until 2022 and was only recently replaced by the Biden administration.
Their relationship quickly soured and details of their clashes have seeped into public view with publication of several accounts of the final days of the Trump presidency.
Last week, Joe Biden picked a new chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Air Force Genral Charles Q. Brown who will replace General Miley.
President Biden’s pick for the new chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has been confirmed as Air Force General Charles Q. Brown
It is the first time in US history that both the Secretary of Defense and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff are African American.
The new chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff made headlines back in 2020 when he held the title of the commander of Pacific Air Forces, as he recorded an emotional video right after the police killing of George Floyd.
In full uniform, he got personal and was ‘full of emotion’ for ‘the many African Americans that have suffered the same fate as George Floyd’.
General Brown will seize command after reaching the 51 vote threshold needed at a vote on Wednesday. Only Sen. Ron Johnson and Sen. J.D. Vance voted no.
It comes after President Biden in May said he could ‘think of no one better suited or more qualified to lead our forces’.