A top Pentagon official was so concerned about the mental state of then-President Trump in the final days of his term that he secretly took steps to prevent a war with China. This is what Washington Post journalists write in a book that will be released in the coming days. Trump denies in a response that he ever wanted to attack China in the first place and dismisses the story as ‘fabricated”.
US Army Chief of Staff General Mark Milley took the initiative to call his Chinese counterpart to assure him that the US would not attack China. This is what Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post write in their book “Peril”.
When US intelligence agencies determined that China considered a US attack possible, Miley reportedly called Chinese General Li Zuocheng for the first time on October 30, 2020. At that time, Trump’s impending election defeat was already looming.
According to the newspaper, the second call followed on January 8, 2021, two days after Trump supporters stormed the Capitol to prevent Congress from ratifying Trump’s election defeat.
Milley allegedly assured Li Zuocheng that the United States was “stable” and would not attack in the phone calls. If an attack did occur, he would warn Li Zuocheng immediately.
In addition to the secret phone calls to China, Milley also convened the staff to emphasize that if Trump was going to order a nuclear strike, he needed to be briefed first. He also asked then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and the head of military intelligence, General Paul Nakasone, to keep an eye on the uncanny behavior of the then-President.
According to excerpts published by the Washington Post and CNN, General Milley also made his deputies promise that after the Republican president’s election defeat on November 3, they would not immediately obey any extreme order from Donald Trump, including on the use of nuclear weapons. Woodward and Costa say they based their findings on interviews with over two hundred sources.
‘Some feel that Milley went beyond his book and gave himself excessive powers,’ the authors of “Peril” write. But he was convinced he was doing the right thing so that ‘there would be no historic break in the international order, no accidental war with China or other countries, and no use of nuclear weapons.’
In a statement, Trump called the reporting on Milley “fabricated”, but also said that Milley should be tried for high treason if the story had been true. He also stated: ‘For the record, I have never thought about attacking China.’