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Rubio demands Biden fire Milley over reported call to Chinese at end of Trump administration

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Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, has urged President Joe Biden to relieve Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, of his duties following reports that Milley promised to warn the Chinese government of any impending attack during the end of the Trump administration.

Milley spoke with his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, two times, once right before the election and once two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol siege, assuring the Chinese leader that nothing would happen, according to an excerpt from Peril, a new book by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, obtained by the Washington Post.

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Rubio, in a letter to Biden dated Tuesday, characterized Milley’s promise to Gen. Li as 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.”

Milley told the Chinese general, “I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay. We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you," adding, “General Li, you 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.”

Rubio argued in his letter that in addition to “undermin[ing] the president’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power,” 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.”

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Milley has faced mounting criticism in recent months, most recently due to the chaotic Afghanistan withdrawal at the end of August. The conclusion of the United States's 20-year war in Afghanistan was mired with a scrambled evacuation of more than 120,000 people who would be at risk under the new Taliban regime.

Milley is set to testify along with Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and U.S. Central Command chief Gen. Frank McKenzie in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Sept. 28.

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Tags: News, Marco Rubio, Mark Milley, China, Afghanistan, Joint Chiefs

Original Author: Mike Brest

Original Location: Rubio demands Biden fire Milley over reported call to Chinese at end of Trump administration