Top U.S. general's calls with China did not go around civilian leaders -spokesman

The top U.S. general did not place secret calls to China that went around civilian government leaders, his office said on Wednesday, a day after excerpts from a book alleged that he had secretly called his Chinese counterpart twice over concerns then-President Donald Trump could spark a war with China. "All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency," Colonel Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, said.


Reuters | Updated: 15-09-2021 22:43 IST | Created: 15-09-2021 22:43 IST
Top U.S. general's calls with China did not go around civilian leaders -spokesman

The top U.S. general did not place secret calls to China that went around civilian government leaders, his office said on Wednesday, a day after excerpts from a book alleged that he had secretly called his Chinese counterpart twice over concerns then-President Donald Trump could spark a war with China.

"All calls from the Chairman to his counterparts, including those reported, are staffed, coordinated and communicated with the Department of Defense and the interagency," Colonel Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, said. "General Milley continues to act and advise within his authority in the lawful tradition of civilian control of the military and his oath to the Constitution," Butler added.

The White House said on Wednesday that President Joe Biden had complete confidence in Milley's leadership. The excerpts of the book, which were reported by the Washington Post, said that in the calls, Milley sought to assure General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army that the United States was stable and not going to attack and, if there were to be an attack, he would alert his counterpart ahead of time.

Butler said that Milley's calls with Chinese and others in October and January were "in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability." "Peril," the book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa which they said relied on interviews with 200 sources, is due to be released next week.

On Tuesday, Trump, in a statement, cast doubt in the story, calling it "fabricated." He said if the story was true, Milley should be tried for treason. "For the record, I never even thought of attacking China," Trump said.

Republican Senator Marco Rubio had called on Biden, a Democrat, to immediately fire Milley. A Congressional official told Reuters that Rubio's call for Milley's ouster had zero or somewhere close to zero support among Senate Democrats and characterized it as partisan noise.

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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