Republican Ohio Rep. Michael Turner said Wednesday that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley should not have any “indignation” over seeing his calls to China in the media, saying he “chose to talk to reporters instead” of them.
“General Milley, with indignation in front of the House and the Senate, you have commented on the statements in the press concerning your phone conversation with your counterparts Gen. Li [Zuocheng] in China. Let’s be clear to give you some help with the indignation: those comments were in the press because that’s where you put them,” Turner told the committee.
“I want a transcript of your call with General Lee and I also want any read-outs, memorandums, notice of calls or outcomes. Now you chose to talk to reporters instead of us and that’s of great concern. No one in congress knew that one of two of the major nuclear powers thought that they were perhaps being threatened for attack,” Turner continued. (RELATED: Gen. Milley Says Allegedly Secret Phone Calls With China Were ‘Perfectly Within’ His ‘Duties And Responsibilities’)
The congressman asked why Milley did not speak to the president, vice president, the White House chief of staff, the national security adviser, the secretary of state, the director of national intelligence or any relevant congressional committees.
Turner said he did not believe that China was fearing any nuclear attack from the United States but noted the communist country is digging Inter-Continental Ballistic Missile (ICBM) holes faster than they can fill them with ICBMs.
He also asked Milley “to provide us the relevant intelligence information” that China was actually concerned about an attack from the United States, “that you release that information that China believed so, including your requests for declassification of your conversation that you had with Gen. Li.”
Milley indicated that he would be willing to cooperate. and said he had the intelligence “right here” and would “be happy to share it with you and go over it line by line.”
The general also said he provided the intelligence to “the president’s [office] and the vice president, the DNI, the director CIA, the secretary of defense, the assistant to the president of national security affairs and others … It wasn’t just a singular report.”
Turner’s demands were prompted by comments found in “Peril,” a recently released book co-authored by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, which documented Milley’s phone call to his military counterpart in China on Oct. 30, 2020 and relayed his concerns that Trump might order an preemptive military strike against that country. (RELATED: ‘The Mona Lisa Of Incompetence’: Sen. Kennedy Flames Biden For Leaving Billions Of Dollars Of Equipment ‘To The Enemy’)
Milley has defended his calls to China, including during a hearing Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee when he said, “My loyalty is absolute.”