Milley Assured Pelosi That US Military, Not Trump, Controlled the Nukes, Vice Chairman Says
21:08 GMT 17.09.2021 (Updated: 21:15 GMT 17.09.2021)
© AP Photo / J. Scott ApplewhiteChairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a ceremony at the National 9/11 Pentagon Memorial to honor the 184 people killed in the 2001 terrorist attack on the Pentagon, in Washington, Friday Sept. 11, 2020
© AP Photo / J. Scott Applewhite
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley assured US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in January that outgoing President Donald Trump could not launch a nuclear attack on China as the chiefs retained full control of US strategic weapons, Milley's deputy, Vice Chairman Gen. John Hyten said on Friday.
"'The Speaker of the House just called and she was very concerned about the president: She wants to make sure we have control of the nuclear weapons," Hyten told a podcast at the Atlantic Council.
"I told her we always have control of the nuclear weapons," Hyten said.
Hyten was being questioned on a media report on Friday from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa new book "Peril" that revealed Milley had phoned his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng on January 6 to assure him that the United States was not planning to declare war or to attack China.
"For the people listening, you should be absolutely 100% confident that we always have control of the nuclear weapons and there's always a very disciplined process in place by the Joint Staff," Hyten added.
Hyten said the January 8 conversation between Milley and Li had been agreed on January 1 and was part of "routine" communications between the top US and Chinese military leaders.
He described it as "just normal business" for the chairman of the joint chiefs.