Trump's Comment Sparks Steps by Milley

Outgoing chairman of Joint Chiefs responds to 'death' post by former president
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 28, 2023 5:55 PM CDT
Trump's Comment Sparks Steps by Milley
From left, Gen. Mark Milley, first lady of Ukraine Olena Zelenska, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin participate in a wreath-laying ceremony at the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial last week.   (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)

Retiring Gen. Mark Milley said he has personal security measures in place, and will take other steps, in response to Donald Trump's suggestion that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff deserves to be executed. In a 60 Minutes interview scheduled to air Sunday, Axios reports, CBS' Norah O'Donnell asked Milley about Trump's comments last week labeling the general, whose term as chairman ends this month, a traitor because of his past communications with China's government. In an online post, Trump said Milley's actions were "so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!"

Mark Esper, who was one of Trump's defense secretaries, told CNN on Monday that he also worries about the former president retaliating against people he's clashed with, including Milley—whom Trump picked for the job. "I think it's a legitimate fear," Esper said, per the Hill. He said his memoir includes an account of Trump, while in office, wanting to call a general and admiral back to active duty so he could have them court-martialed for public statements they'd made. Trump has talked about retribution on the campaign trail, to be carried out if he returns to the Oval Office.

Asked in the CBS interview whether he had done "anything inappropriate or treasonous" in his contacts with China, Milley answered, "Absolutely not. Zero. None." He had initiated the conversation near the end of Trump's term, when he wanted to reassure China that no US attack was planned despite Chinese intelligence suggesting otherwise. "As much as these comments are directed at me," Milley said this week, "it's also directed at the institution of the military." Everyone in the military, he said, "from private to general," will uphold the Constitution, whatever the threats. In the meantime, he said, "I'll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family." (Read more Mark Milley stories.)

We use cookies. By Clicking "OK" or any content on this site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. Read more in our privacy policy.
Get the news faster.
Tap to install our app.
Install the Newser News app
in two easy steps:
1. Tap in your navigation bar.
2. Tap to Add to Home Screen.