Another Republican attempted to twist the story of Gen. Mark Milley's conversation with Chinese military officials to be some kind of corrupt or illegal action during a hearing about Afghanistan on Wednesday.
Rep. Michael Turner (R-OH) attacked Milley for allegedly going rogue and calling the Chinese when there was no reason to. Instead of directing his question at Milley, however, Turner directed it to Sec. Lloyd Austin.
"With indignation in front of the House and the Senate, you have commented on the statements in the press concerning your phone conversation with your counterparts, Gen. Lee in China," said Turner. "Let's be clear, to give you some help with the indignation, those comments were in the press, because that's where you put them. Now, you claim that you had information, and it's all over, that China was worried about an imminent attack. You did not tell the president, the vice president, the White House chief of staff, the national security adviser, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, the director of national intelligence either of the relevant committees in the House, including the Big 8, which you know include intel."
The committee chairman suspended the rules to allow Milley to answer the attacks, noting that Milley addressed the issue on Tuesday, explaining that the new book by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa didn't include the full story much less the classified information that Milley was privy to.
"With respect to the intelligence, I have it right here. I'll be happy to share it with you," Milley began. "I guarantee that that intelligence was disseminated to the in the president's [presidential daily briefing], the vice president, the DNI, director of CIA, the Secretary of Defense, the assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and others. That was significant and there was a lot of it. It wasn't just a singular report. There was a lot -- I'll be happy to share that with you and go over it with you line by line."
Milley then explained that given all of those people knew that there was a concern by China that the U.S. was going to wage a war with them, it was then concluded that he work with his counterpart to reassure China. There were eight people on the call between Gen. Milley and his counterpart in China.
"It was significant and concerning to the point where the secretary of Defense Mark Esper, Adm. David Skponson and myself and others had conversations about it," said Milley. "And I was directed by then-Secretary of Defense Esper. First, he directed his assistant secretary of Defense for Asia Pacific Affairs to make calls and then me. Same thing. This is all done with oversight and I try to lay that out in the memorandum. I tried to lay it out in a timeline in an unclassified way that you can use."
See the video below:
Watch Gen. Milley school Ohio Rep. Michael Turner www.youtube.com