While claims by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley assured China they would be warned if President Trump decided to launch a military attack, the White House’s top military adviser broke the law. and should be called before Congress to testify, according to retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor.
Macgregor, who retired from the military in 2004 and became a senior Pentagon adviser to Trump-era Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, told “Tucker Carlson Tonight” that he did wasn’t as surprised as the public by the allegation that Milley had essentially undermined his boss. , the then president, and comforted a rival nation.
Macgregor told host Tucker Carlson he wasn’t surprised by the allegation, but noted that Milley – at 8 p.m. ET – had yet to offer his side of the story. The Colonel added that Woodward – who has written other presentations on the Trump era – tends to be “somewhat flexible in interpreting” events and quotes.
For his part, Trump has responded to the allegations, calling them “hard to believe” – but adding that if they are true, they constitute “betrayal” on the part of the US Army general.
Carlson asked Macgregor if it was as blatant as it sounds that Milley called Chinese General Li Zuocheng without telling his boss, Trump.
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Macgregor replied that indeed Milley, as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has no statutory authority and therefore cannot make political or military decisions, but only advise the chairman who is the real commander. chief – in the unique American system where the military is led by civilians and not led by a general on active duty.
“President [of the JCoS] is unable to order anyone in the armed forces to say or do anything. He can’t do it. He is par excellence the chief military adviser to the president. He is, so in theory, before making such a phone call, he would discuss the subject of the phone call with the president, the commander-in-chief, ”Macgregor said.
“He certainly wouldn’t do something without coordination with the National Security Advisor and Secretary of State, because it goes beyond defense. It’s a foreign policy statement he’s making. These are important things to understand. . “
“[Milley] violated the law, if this turns out to be true. We really need to hear him – Congress needs to bring him in, he needs to be under oath and answer questions in the Senate on this whole matter. “
Macgregor added that another aspect of the scenario is the fact that the president cannot act completely independently by launching a nuclear weapon, as critics may have feared, but must instead engage in a ” consultative process “.
However, this process does not include Milley as the chairman of the JCoS, but rather the head of the Pentagon and the “Strategic Command”.
“[That] has nothing to do with Milley – [but] as an adviser, General Milley can speak out and suggest what they should or should not do, “he said.
The Colonel added that Milley, who continues to serve as president under President Joe Biden, could have stepped down if he was convinced Trump was reckless or whatever the adjective is.
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“It doesn’t mean he has to leave the armed forces, it means he leaves his post and someone else can be brought in. That’s what you do if you feel like you have business. to someone you can’t support, ”Macgregor said of Milley, who has been in the military since 1980.
Carlson later said the allegations further emboldened his view that Milley is a “dishonorable man” – reverting to his controversial “white rage” testimony and other comments in Congress.
“On the other hand, we know for a fact that he was speaking in a capacity, I guess, as a political supporter of the leaders of the other party,” Carlson added, noting that Woodward and Costa reported that the general – without inform Trump of his alleged contact with General Li – had spoken to Senator Charles E. Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
“He made it clear on numerous occasions that he was addressing [them], reassuring them that he was in control of the Pentagon. Lots of people who have seen this, including the acting defense secretary. It’s unfortunate, ”Macgregor said, again hinting that Milley should in theory have no statutory control over military operations.
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“I just want to clarify one point,” Macgregor told Carlson. “President Trump is not someone who is ready to launch a nuclear attack on anyone. This is absurd nonsense.”
In conclusion, Carlson noted that Trump was the first president since Jimmy Carter not to start a war under his watch, contrary to claims that the Palm Beach Republican is notoriously hawkish.