If reports that Gen. Mark Milley made secret calls to Communist China’s Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army are true, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should resign or be removed, says retired Gen. Keith Kellogg.
“If what is in the Woodward book is true, then Mark Milley needs to resign or be removed from his position immediately,” the former acting National Security Adviser under President Trump said on Fox News’s “Brian Kilmeade Show.”
“He’s basically taking Article Two of the Constitution under his own wing and did not do proper service to the president of the United States,” Kellogg said. He added that Milley’s alleged behavior directly contradicts his role as an adviser to the president and the National Security Council and undermines the uniform code of military justice.
“If true, he’s violated the Uniform Code of Military Justice alone, despite what others may say about more serious actions out there,” Kellogg said. “So he’s really, truly overstepped his bounds and I think because of that, he’s lost incredible credibility with everybody that’s out there and he moved into a lane he shouldn’t have been in.”
The phone calls, Kellogg continued, are also political in nature, another contradictory element to Milley’s current role but one that he has violated before.
“He cannot give any command and control direction to combat and forces that are out there in the field,” Kellogg said. “He was clearly in a political lane, in a lane he shouldn’t have been in and I’ve never seen any chairman do that before.”
Kellogg’s fear, he said, is that President Joe Biden will refuse to remove Milley even after the general showed that he believed “he was smarter than the president, he’s the smartest guy in the room.”
“I think what you’re heading for is what we saw decades ago in that book ‘Seven Days in May’ that they made into a movie with a chairman who tried to remove the sitting president and that’s what you got. I think he’s lost all credibility,” Kellogg said.
The Pentagon’s attempts to clean up the controversy surrounding Milley by claiming then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper requested the phone call almost makes things “worse,” Kellogg suggested.
“There are only two national command authorities: it’s the President and the Secretary of Defense. The chairman of the Joint Chiefs is not in that line. He should not be calling his counterpart or anybody else out there without informing the president of the United States on what he is doing. So they violated that. Even Esper violated that,” Kellogg said. “The one who should have picked up the phone was Esper if he wanted to do it and then he should have told the president, he should have actually asked the president beforehand and said this is what he was going to do. I mean, that just shows him, very candidly, some real incompetence on the part of Esper and Milley as well.”
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