With US President Donald Trump declaring that mail-in ballots could result in the US 2020 election being fraudulent, some have speculated that the military may intervene to help quell any potential chaos around the event.
“I believe deeply in the principle of an apolitical US military,” Milley said in written responses to questions posed by two Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee, the Associated Press reported.
“In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law US courts and the US Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the US military. I foresee no role for the US armed forces in this process,” he added.
When asked if he would refuse an order from the president if he were trying to use military action for political gain, Milley responded, “I will not follow an unlawful order,” AP reported.
In June, Milley also expressed regret for walking with Trump through Lafayette Square in Washington, DC, for a photo op, which required the use of chemical irritants, rubber bullets and sound cannons to disperse peaceful Black Lives Matter protesters that had gathered near the White House.
“I should not have been there,” Milley said in a video commencement address to the National Defense University in June. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
Two Congress members, Reps. Elissa Slotkin (D-MI) and Mikie Sherrill (D-NJ), have also recently expressed concerns that Trump’s use of the military to quell Black Lives Matter protests has left them concerned that the nation’s military will be called upon to act during potential election unrest.
During an interview on Fox News last month, Trump refused to publicly commit to accepting the results of the upcoming presidential election.
“I have to see. Look ... I have to see,” Trump told interviewer Chris Wallace, AP reported at the time. “No, I’m not going to just say yes. I’m not going to say no, and I didn’t last time either.”