US Chief of Staff denies doubting Donald Trump’s mental state

The American Chief of Staff, General Mark Milley, denied, Tuesday, September 29, in front of elected officials of Congress, having doubted the mental state of former President Donald Trump at the end of his term, assuring that his appeals to his Chinese counterpart were aimed at reducing tension with Beijing, in agreement with the administration.

“I am sure President Trump did not intend to attack the Chinese and it was my direct responsibility, on behalf of the Minister, to publicize the President’s orders and intentions.”, he assured. “My mission at that time was de-escalation”, specified the Chief of Staff.

General Milley is at the center of a controversy after the revelations of two journalists from the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, on his contacts with his Chinese counterparts before and after the last presidential election, due according to them to his concerns about the mental health of Donald Trump.

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In their work Danger released, they claim General Milley nodded during a January phone conversation with Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi when she called Mr. Trump “Unbalanced”.

Ms Pelosi had telephoned General Milley the day after Donald Trump’s supporters assaulted the Capitol on Jan.6, to make sure the president could not use nuclear codes.

“I explained to him that the president has the only authority to launch a nuclear attack and that he does not do it alone, and that I am not qualified to determine the mental state of the president of the United States”General Milley, who was speaking for the first time on this affair, told Congress. “There are processes, protocols and procedures for that”, he added.

“My loyalty is absolute”

General Milley also denied having telephoned twice in secret to his Chinese counterpart, General Li Zuocheng, to assure him that the United States would not suddenly attack China and to reassure him about the stability of the American state.

“The October 30 and January 8 calls were coordinated before and after, with Defense Minister Mark Esper, then with Acting Minister Christopher Miller”, he explained. These calls were prompted by “Information from the intelligence services which led us to conclude that the Chinese feared an attack by the United States”, he added.

“My loyalty is absolute”, assured General Milley, while elected Republicans called for the chief of staff to be sacked for having exceeded his duties.

The highest ranking American official nevertheless admitted to having spoken with Bob Woodward before the publication of the book, and with other journalists who wrote very critical works on the last months of Donald Trump’s mandate. “I think it is very important that senior officials talk to the media in all their forms to explain what we are doing”, he noted.

General Milley assured that he could not certify that his words were faithfully represented in these books, not having read them.

After the publication of excerpts from the book on September 15, President Joe Biden renewed his confidence in General Milley.

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The World with AFP

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