Revelations appear in profile, the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa about behind the scenes at the White House. Trump has already answered.
General Mark Milley, the Chief of Staff of the US Armed Forces, twice telephoned his Chinese counterpart to reassure him of a possible surprise US attack on China.
The revelations form part of Bob Woodward’s new book on the Trump administration called profile, which was written in collaboration with Robert Costa, journalist at The Washington Post. This is Woodward’s third White House book, after Fear: Trump at the White House and Rage, and it’s going to be published on September 21st.
The first call took place on October 30, 2020, four days before the presidential ones, and was made after Milley was informed by US intelligence that the Chinese believed the United States was preparing to attack China. The authors write that the Chinese feared an attack due to military exercises in the South China Sea and Trump’s aggressive rhetoric.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the US government is stable and that everything will be fine. We will not attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you,” Milley promised. The book reveals that Milley even said he would warn Chinese authorities if the US attacked, saying that “I would call you in advance“.
The Chinese General believed Milley, advances the book. The second call took place on January 8, two days after the uprising of Trump’s supporters on Capitol Hill, and served to allay Chinese fears about what had happened. “We are 100% stable. It’s ok, but democracy can be sloppy sometimes“, guaranteed.
Li remained standing back and the book details that Milley did not inform Donald Trump of this conversation. The General believed that Trump was in mental decline since the election and had conversations with Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House of Representatives, about her fears that the head of state would not be able to occupy the White House.
“He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy,” Pelosi said, according to a transcript of the phone call. “I agree with you in everything you said”, the military man will have replied. Pelosi even questioned whether there are precautions to prevent an unstable president from “ordering a nuclear attack”. Milley assured that “there are many checks in the system”.
On the same day, Mark Miller called the commanders to a meeting where he reminded them that he was part of the command and that would have to be consulted even if Trump ordered a nuclear attack. The book even reports that Miller looked each one in the eye and that he took the answers as an oath.
Milley wasn’t the only one in the administration halls who feared Donald Trump’s actions. CIA Director Gina Haspel even told the Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces that the US was “on the way to a right-wing coup d’etat“.
Trump responds to Milley
Many Trump supporters are viewing Milley’s actions as an act of treason and are demanding that Joe Biden remove him from office, including Marco Rubio, Republican Senator from Florida, who wrote a letter to the White House calling for his resignation. Biden has already responded, saying that he has “great trust in General Milley“.
Donald Trump himself, in an interview with Newsmax, accused Milley of treason. “I never thought of attacking China,” said the former president.
The book also addresses the doubts of Trump’s deputy Mike Pence when it comes to confirming Biden as the new President. The US Vice President also heads the Senate and Trump wanted Pence didn’t certify Biden’s victory in the election due to unfounded accusations of electoral fraud.
This was already known, but the news is that apparently Pence was torn between his loyalty to Trump and his duty and asked Dan Quayle for advice, deputy of George Bush who had to certify Bill Clinton’s victory, on how to proceed.
“Mike, you don’t have any flexibility. None. Zero. Forget about it,” Quayle replied to Pence when he asked if he could access Trump’s request due to the fraud cases that were still open.
Pence ended up confirming Biden’s victory and told Trump he couldn’t do anything, as his role was just to “open the envelopes”. “I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this. You betrayed us. I created you. you were nothing“, the then President will have replied. Pence eventually became one of the targets of Trump’s supporters, with the crowd that stormed the Capitol screaming for his hanging.