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Psaki rejects GOP calls for Gen. Mark Milley's dismissal, saying 'many of them were silent' as Trump 'fomented an insurrection'

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jen psaki
White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday. AP/Andrew Harnik
  • The White House defended Gen. Mark Milley amid GOP criticism of his actions as Trump's term ended.

  • Biden has "has complete confidence in Chairman Milley," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said.

  • A book says Milley spoke with a Chinese official without Trump's knowledge.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday defended Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as critics said he overstepped in his role when he was the top military advisor to President Donald Trump.

"I can't speak to the former president's experience with him or the former president's views of him," Psaki told reporters during a press briefing. "But this president, this current president, who follows the Constitution, who's not fomenting an insurrection, who follows the rule of law, has complete confidence in Chairman Milley."

The comments came after an excerpt of a forthcoming book by the Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa was published on Tuesday. It describes Milley's actions in the final months of Trump's presidency.

Milley was "certain" that Trump suffered a mental decline after his 2020 election loss and feared that he may "go rogue," the authors write.

Days after the Capitol riot on January 6, Milley grew so concerned about what Trump may do that he privately called his Chinese counterpart twice to assure him that the US had no plans to strike China, the book says. The top general also spoke with senior US military officials, telling them not to carry out orders from anyone without his involvement, according to the book.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff advises the president and defense secretary but is not part of the chain of command for operational decisions like the launching of nuclear weapons.

A spokesperson for Milley on Wednesday confirmed the general's calls with the Chinese official and said the move was "to maintain strategic stability."

In light of the book's account, Trump, along with a growing number of congressional Republicans, have accused Milley of treason.

Milley "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," Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky wrote on Twitter on Tuesday evening. "He should be court martialed if true."

Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida called for Milley's firing in a letter to the White House on Tuesday. Sen. Roger Marshall of Kansas tweeted that Milley should resign.

Psaki on Wednesday slammed the GOP members attacking Milley, saying "many of them were silent" while Trump had "fomented an insurrection."

Biden is not "looking for the guidance" from those Republicans to make decisions, Psaki added.

Read the original article on Business Insider

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