Press Secretary Jen Psaki said President Joe Biden has “complete confidence” in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley amid reports that he promised to warn a top People’s Liberation Army general if the U.S. moved to strike China.
“What I can assure you all of is that the president knows Gen. Milley,” Psaki told reporters during her Wednesday press conference. “He has been Chairman of the Joint Chiefs for almost eight months of his presidency. They’ve worked side-by-side through a range of international events. The president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism, and his fidelity to our constitution.”
Milley allegedly promised Gen. Li Zuocheng, the chief of China’s Joint Staff Department of the Central Military Commission, that he would warn China if then-President Donald Trump launched an attack in the wake of the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, according to an excerpt from an unreleased book by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said.
Milley also reportedly took actions designed to slow Trump down in the event that he attempted to deploy nuclear weapons. According to the book, Milley agreed with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that Trump was “crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time.” (RELATED: Chairman Of The Joint Chiefs Mark Milley: ‘It Was A Mistake’ To Take Part In Trump’s Lafayette Square Photo-Op)
Psaki appeared to defend Milley’s actions, and agreed with the top general’s assessment.
“There has been widespread reporting and commentary from members of his own cabinet, the former president’s cabinet, including high-ranking national security officials, questioning the former president’s stability, his behavior, and his suitability to oversee the national security of the United States. So those are important questions that need to be discussed as well,” she said.
“The outgoing president of the United States during this period of time fomented unrest, leading to an insurrection and an attack on our nation’s Capitol on Jan. 6, which you all have covered extensively of course. One of the darkest days in our nation’s history,” Psaki added.
Psaki declined to endorse a congressional investigation into the allegations.