White House defends Joint Chiefs chair after Woodward report

White House press secretary Jen Psaki on Wednesday defended Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley, saying “the president has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution.”

The big picture: Psaki’s remarks come after details emerged that Milley reportedly assured his Chinese counterpart that Trump would not attack China —and if Trump decided to attack, Milley would give the Chinese general a secret heads up, Axios’ Jonathan Swan reports.

  • New excerpts from “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa report secret moves by the highest-ranking military officers to manage national security risks that they believed former President Trump posed near the end of his term.

What she’s saying: “The president has worked side by side with Chairman Milley for almost eight months as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs,” Psaki said.

  • “His experience with him has been that he is a patriot, he is somebody who has fidelity to the Constitution, and he has confidence in his leadership and the role he has played in his experience with him.”
  • “I can’t speak to anonymous unconfirmed reports about prior conversations during the last administration,” Psaki said.

What to watch: Milley will testify at a Sept. 28 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, where he will likely field questions on his actions during the final days of the Trump presidency.

Go deeper: Mark Milley’s crisis

Source: https://www.axios.com/white-house-defends-mark-milley-after-woodward-report-d4b295c5-4083-43c8-b90a-d100cfc0f2fe.html
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The Article Was Written/Published By: Erin Doherty

Author: axios