‘Dumbass’: Trump slams secret China call

In the final months of the Trump administration, a top US general secretly called Chinese officials and assured them he would “call you ahead of time … if we’re going to attack”.

In the final months of the Trump administration, a top US general secretly called Chinese officials out of fear the outgoing president would create conflict with the communist nation, a new book claims.

So afraid was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley of Donald Trump’s mental state in the dying days of his presidency, he twice phoned his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, to assure him the US wouldn’t attack.

In the two separate calls — one a few days before the November 2020 election and the other days after the January 6 Capitol riot — General Milley reassured China that America was “stable” and “everything would be OK”, Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa claim in their book, Peril.

Gen Milley made the calls amid concerns that “Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election … all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies”.

“We are 100 per cent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes,” he allegedly told General Li in the secret phone call, which occurred after US intelligence discovered that China feared an attack from the US over Chinese military manoeuvring in the South China Sea.

“We are not going to attack or conduct any kinetic operations against you … General Li, you and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

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Gen Milley also ordered his generals not to obey Mr Trump after the Capitol riot, including over use of nuclear weapons, without consulting him first.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” he reportedly told his officers.

Trump lashes General as a ‘dumbass’

Mr Trump promptly lashed out at the claims, declaring in a statement on Tuesday that Gen Milley — who remains President Joe Biden’s top general as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff — was a “dumbass”. He went on to accuse Gen Milley of botching America’s recent withdrawal from Afghanistan.

“If the story of ‘Dumbass’ General Mark Milley … is true, then I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President’s back and telling China that he would be giving them notification ‘of an attack’. Can’t do that!” the 75-year-old said in a statement.

“The good news is that the story is Fake News concocted by a weak and ineffective General together with two authors who I refused to give an interview to because they write fiction, not fact. Actions should be taken immediately against Milley, and better generals in our Military, of which we have many, should get involved so that another Afghanistan disaster never happens again. Remember, I was the one who took out 100% of the ISIS Caliphate. Milley said it couldn’t be done!

“For the record, I never even thought of attacking China — and China knows that. The people that fabricated the story are sick and demented, and the people who print it are just as bad. In fact, I’m the only President in decades who didn’t get the U.S. into a war — a well known fact that is seldom reported.”

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It’s not the first time Mr Trump has called for Gen Milley to stand down – in June, reports emerged in a book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender that the two men had been in a shouting match last year over the former leader’s plan to respond to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations.

“When Black Lives Matter rioters were threatening to destroy Washington, DC he practically begged me not to send in the military to stop the riots,” Mr Trump said in a statement at the time.

Gen Milley, he added, should “be replaced with someone who is actually willing to defend our military from the leftist radicals who hate our country and flag”.

Calls for Milley to resign over ‘subversion’

Kentucky Republican Senator Rand Paul also weighed in, saying that Gen Milley “working to subvert the military chain of command and collude with China is exactly what we do not accept from military leaders in our country”.

“He should be court martialed if true,” Sen Paul continued, before also criticising Gen Milley’s handling of the Afghanistan withdrawal.

“Couple that with his inept handling of the withdrawal from Afghanistan, and it is clear General Milley is no longer fit to serve as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and should be removed immediately.”

He was joined by other top Republican officials, who called for Gen Milley’s head to roll over his actions.

“Such subversion undermines the president’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power in his in his interactions with foreign nations,” Florida Republican Senator Marco Rubio wrote in a letter to President Biden.

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“A senior military officer interfering with that civilian-controlled process is simply unacceptable at best, and at worst, would cause ambiguity which could lead to war.”

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