General Mark Milley, head of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, was so alarmed in January by then-President Donald Trump's mental state that he took secret action to prevent him from unleashing a war with China, wrote journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa in a book of imminent appearance.
The AFP agency reports that Milley ordered his collaborators not to act immediately in case Trump took any step to use the nuclear arsenal and also called a Chinese general to reassure Beijing.
The journalists, both workers of The Washington Post, together with the CNN chain published this Tuesday passages of "Peril" ("Danger") that show Milley organizing the Pentagon and the intelligence community to resist any eventual move by Trump to escalate tensions with China after losing the presidential elections of November 2020, refers the same agency.
Milley called his Chinese counterpart General Li Zuocheng twice: on October 30, days before the election, and on November 8, two days after Trump supporters stormed the US Congress. In those calls, Milley sought to assure China that Trump's rhetoric would not lead to military action.
"General Li, I want to assure you that the US government is stable and everything is working fine," Milley said in his October call, the book's authors wrote.
To calm the Chinese, Milley went so far as to have the Indo-Pacific Command postpone military exercises that Beijing might have seen as a potential threat.
Separately, Milley told top members of his staff that they should inform him first of all if Trump sought to exercise his power to order a nuclear strike.
Milley also spoke to other top officials, including CIA Director Gina Haspel and National Security Agency chief Paul Nakasone, about the need to be vigilant against the possibility of Trump acting irrationally.
They obtained a transcript of Pelosi's call, as reported by journalists Woodward and Costa:
"What precautions are available to prevent an unstable president from launching military hostilities or accessing launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike," asked Pelosi.
"If they couldn't stop him from storming the Capitol, who knows what else he can do?" added.
"He's crazy. You know that he is crazy ... and what he did yesterday is one more proof of his madness ”.
The system has "many controls" to prevent extreme behavior from the president, Milley responded.
However, he added: "I agree with you in everything."
For all this action by General Mark Milley, chief of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, he was accused by Marcos Rubio, a defender of Trump, as a traitor for which he alleged that Milley “worked to actively undermine the Commander-in-Chief of the United States Armed Forces in functions and contemplated a treacherous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party ”.
Republican lawmakers were quick to attack Milley, and Senator Marco Rubio called on President Joe Biden to remove the general.
"These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of good judgment, and I urge you to fire him immediately," the senator said in a letter to Biden.