September 28, 2023
Outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley believes former President Donald Trump’s recent suggestion that he deserved to be executed after speaking with a Chinese general during Trump’s fraught final months in office is part of a broader swipe at the US military by its former commander in chief.
Speaking to CBS’s Norah O’Donnell in a “60 Minutes” clip released on Wednesday, Milley – who also said he will “take appropriate measures” to ensure his and his family’s personal safety in the wake of the former president’s remark – offered no regrets about his efforts to reassure his Chinese counterpart about the stability of the US during Trump’s efforts to stay in office. In a Truth Social post last week, Trump said the backchannel communications by Milley amounted to a “treasonous act” that was “so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”
It’s a disturbing remark, even by the standards of Trump’s usual inflammatory rhetoric and the contentious relationship between the two men, and it is especially jarring at a time when Trump is the clear front-runner for the Republican nomination for president.
“As much as these comments are directed at me, it’s also directed at the institution of the military. And there is 2.1 million of us in uniform,” Milley told CBS. “And the American people can take it to the bank, that all of us, every single one of us, from private to general, are loyal to that Constitution and will never turn our back on it no matter what. No matter what the threats, no matter what the humiliation, no matter what.”
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