Sec of State Pompeo, NSA O'Brien Knew Nothing About Gen. Milley's Secret Talks With China: Report
13:22 GMT 18.09.2021 (Updated: 18:00 GMT 18.09.2021)
© AP Photo / Alex BrandonPresident Donald Trump speaks in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, May 29, 2020, in Washington, as from left, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, left, White House national security adviser Robert O'Brien, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, listen
© AP Photo / Alex Brandon
The chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff earlier said that his contacts with his Chinese counterparts, described in Bob Woodward's new book "Peril", fell well within the boundaries of his duties. He is scheduled to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee in late September.
During the tenure of former US President Donald Trump, both then-US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and ex-National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien were unaware of General Mark Milley's contacts with Chinese military officials or any intelligence that could have lead to them, Fox News has reported.
The two have never been in possession of any information about the Trump administration planning to attack China - which is something that Milley discussed with his Chinese counterpart, according to "Peril" by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
The book claimed that Milley had twice reached out to General Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army to assure him that he would warn Beijing in case former President Donald Trump decided to launch an attack against China.
The claims have caused waves, prompting diverse interpretations of the situation. General Milley himself described his encounters with his Chinese counterparts as something within the scope of his duties and "routine". Former President Trump, however, does not share the sentiment, asserting that such outreach would amount to "treason".
The Biden White House voiced "great confidence" in Milley, praising his patriotism and fidelity to the US Constitution. The general is expected to testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on 28 September, and earlier in the week he expressed his readiness to go into as much detail as the lawmakers want him to.
According to excerpts from "Peril", a book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley not only contacted China during Trump's tenure but also held an emotional conversation with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi days after the 6 January Capitol riot. In the telephone call, Pelosi wondered about the leverage Milley could have on Trump to prevent the former president from initiating a military conflict.