Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said Wednesday that there was “nothing” in recent reports about Gen. Mark Milley that caused “any concern.”
Kirby said that he “couldn’t speak to” the revelations about Milley in the new book “Peril” that was written by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
“I think you saw a statement by the chairman’s office specifically addressing this issue,” he said. “What I can tell you is, that it is not uncommon at all for the department to continue to review security protocols, particularly when it comes to our strategic deterrence capabilities. That we constantly take a look at the protocols and procedures to make sure that they are still relevant.”
The spokesman said that the protocols have been around for 20 years. (RELATED: CNN Guest Claims Senior Official Hoped Trump Would Chain Himself To The Resolute Desk To Show ‘Serious Mental Decline’)
.@PentagonPresSec John Kirby answers questions on Gen. Milley and nuclear launch protocols: “I can’t speak to the validity, but I see nothing in what I’ve read that would cause any concern.”
— CSPAN (@cspan) September 15, 2021
“It’s also completely appropriate, and again I’m not speaking to the validity of things that are in the book, but it is completely appropriate for the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, as the senior military advisor to both the secretary and the president, to want to see those protocols reviewed on whatever frequent basis that he wants to do that.”
Kirby repeated that he can’t confirm that the reports are accurate or inaccurate, but did not feel they were concerning.
“I did not see anything, in what I’ve read, that would cause any concern.”
Woodward and Costa allege in their book that Milley held a secret meeting at the Pentagon after the Capitol riot instructing high ranking military officials to go through him before taking orders from former President Donald Trump, who Milley was “certain” had gone into “serious mental decline.”
MIT nuclear strategy expert Vipin Narang told The Washington Post that anyone who ignored an order from the president and disrupted the nuclear chain of command “would be doing so illegally and risk the charge of mutiny.” He said that the president has “sole authority” to order a nuclear launch.
Milley also allegedly called his Chinese counterpart, Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, and told him that he would give advance warning in the case of U.S. military action against China.
Milley denied any wrongdoing. His spokesman, Col. Dave Butler, said that “the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs regularly communicates with Chiefs of Defense across the world, including with China and Russia.”