Senate Committee Hearing Live Stream and Updates: Milley, Austin Testify


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Milley Stands by His Actions at Tumultuous End of Trump’s Term

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said calls to his Chinese counterpart at the end of President Trump’s term, and a meeting where he told generals to alert him if Mr. Trump tried to launch a nuclear weapon, were in line with his duties.

I’ve served this nation for 42 years. I spent years in combat, and I’ve buried a lot of my troops who died while defending this country. My loyalty to this nation, its people and the Constitution hasn’t changed and will never change as long as I have a breath to give. The calls on 30 October 8 January were coordinated before and after with Secretary Esper and acting-Secretary Miller’s staffs and the interagency. The specific purpose of the October and January calls were to generate, or were generated, by concerning intelligence, which caused us to believe the Chinese were worried about an attack on them by the United States. I know, I am certain, that President Trump did not intend to attack the Chinese, and it is my directed responsibility, and it was my directed responsibility by the secretary, to convey that intent to the Chinese. My task at that time was to de-escalate — my message, again, was consistent. Stay calm, steady and de-escalate. We are not going to attack you. Speaker of the House Pelosi called me to inquire about the president’s ability to launch nuclear weapons. I sought to assure her that nuclear launch is governed by a very specific and deliberate process. She was concerned, and made very — made various personal references characterizing the president. I explained to her that the president is the sole nuclear launch authority, and he doesn’t launch them alone, and that I am not qualified to determine the mental health of the president of the United States. I am not in the chain of command, and I know that. However, by presidential directive and D.O.D. instruction, I am in the chain of communication to fulfill my legal statutory role as the president’s primary military adviser. After the Speaker Pelosi call, I convened a short meeting in my office with key members of my staff to refresh all of us on the procedures.

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Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said calls to his Chinese counterpart at the end of President Trump’s term, and a meeting where he told generals to alert him if Mr. Trump tried to launch a nuclear weapon, were in line with his duties.CreditCredit…Sarahbeth Maney/The New York Times

Gen. Mark A. Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, defended his actions in the tumultuous last months of the Trump administration, insisting that calls to his Chinese counterpart and a meeting in which he told generals to alert him if the president tried to launch a nuclear weapon were all part of his job duties as the country’s most senior military officer.

“My loyalty to this nation, its people, and the Constitution hasn’t changed and will never change as long as I have a breath to give,” he said. “I firmly believe in civilian control of the military as a bedrock principle…



Read More: Senate Committee Hearing Live Stream and Updates: Milley, Austin Testify

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