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Book: Worried About Trump, General Secretly Called China

Bob Woodward, Robert Costa say Milley feared Trump was unstable after the election
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 14, 2021 2:16 PM CDT
Woodward: General Feared Trump Would Order Nukes
Then-President Trump speaks in the James Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in April 2020 as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley listens.   (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(Newser) – The top military officer in the US was seriously worried about the mental state of then-President Trump in the final months of his presidency, according to a new book by Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa. So much so that Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, even made two secret calls to his Chinese counterpart, according to Peril. Details, via the Post and CNN:

  • Milley called Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army in late October and again on Jan. 8, just after the Capitol riot. Milley feared Trump might try to strike China militarily, and he promised the general that would not happen under his watch, according to Peril, which is out next week.
  • "General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay," Milley told him. "We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you."

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  • At another point, Milley went even further: "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."
  • The book says Milley also gathered senior officers because he feared Trump might try to launch nuclear weapons. He made each officer individually pledge to notify Milley if any such order came from the White House, so he could stop it. "Milley considered it an oath," the book says.
  • In a phone call with Nancy Pelosi after the Capitol riot, Milley told the House speaker he agreed with her assessment that Trump was "crazy." The book says Milley "was certain that Trump had gone into serious mental decline" after the election.
(Read more Mark Milley stories.)

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