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Trump, ally attacks Milley as Woodward book triggers nuclear reaction

Trump, ally attacks Milley as Woodward book triggers nuclear reaction

The nuclear fallout over the latest Bob Woodward book and its revelations about General Mark Milley reveal a fundamental contradiction in political warfare.

The two-bob bomb shell (Woodward’s co-author of Washington Post’s Robert Costa) puts the joint chief of staff on the hottest hot seats by revealing that he gave China back-channel assurances of no US attack as he worried about the stability of Donald Trump. It is at least an extraordinary step for the country’s top military official, who is undoubtedly undermining the civilian chain of command.

But if those who demand Milley’s resignation trust the forthcoming book “Danger,” it is impossible to turn around and feel the book waste. The story embedded in their reporting – and with obvious collaboration from Milley – is either true or not worth worrying about.

Still, here’s a furious Trump in a statement to the press saying that if the story of “Dumbass” Mark Milley is true, “then I assume he would be tried for TREASON, as he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the president’s back and telling China he would let them know ‘about an attack’. I can not! “

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Then comes the focal point:

“The good news is that the story is Fake News made by a weak and ineffective general along with two writers I refused to give an interview to because they write fiction, not facts.”

So why should Milley be tried on the basis of “fiction”? Trump also says “I never even thought of attacking China,” which may well be true, but the authors do not say he did – only that the general was concerned about the possibility of such an attack.

Trump, who admitted Woodward 18 recorded interviews for his previous book “Rage”, did not speak to him this time – and called him on “Newsmax” a “sleaze”.

But Woodward has a long experience of delivering the goods. After working with him once – and covering him for decades, including his mistakes – I can say that he not only gets top officials to tell him things, but often vacuums documents to back it up.

Although he has been criticized for painting those who give access in a more positive light, he, like other writers, also has fuller accounts of these people than those who refuse to cooperate. A good portion of his last book was Trump, on the record that explained itself.

Conservative experts, some Republicans and Trump himself make Milley the villain of history, and these attacks are substance-based. The Woodward-Costa book portrays Milley as, in the Post’s report, “so afraid that the president’s actions could trigger a war with China that he quickly pushed to avert armed conflict.”

Based on intellectual reports that China feared a US attack, Milley had two calls with Beijing’s top military official – one four days before the election, the other two days after the Capitol riots – to assure him that Washington had no such plans. , and that he would give a heads up if something turned into something.

Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley speaks in Washington, September 1, 2021. (Associated Press)
(AP Photo / Susan Walsh)

What’s more, after agreeing with Nancy Pelosi that Trump was crazy (the authors have a call transcript), Milley is said to have told his senior officers that he should be consulted if there was a presidential order to launch nuclear weapons.

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So critics are fully entitled to ask whether a military man was illegally using the power of an elected president by sending back-channel warnings to an opponent and, in effect, demanding a veto over a decision to go to war.

Liberals and Democrats defending Milley are essentially taking an end-just-mean stance: Trump was insane, so the general had to step in and prevent America from a possible war of annihilation.

Now turn the manuscript: If a book reported that a top military official had undermined Barack Obama by secretly calling Vladimir Putin and putting himself in nuclear decisions, then the left would not compromise – and the right wing would defend such a general?

Pentagon officials now say Milley did not deploy himself in the nuclear command chain, but was clarifying everyone’s role, Fox’s Jennifer Griffin reports. They also say there were 15 people on conference calls with Milley’s Chinese counterpart, including a State Department official, which made it sound less boring and mysterious.

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Still, Milley had to know that by sharing his anti-Trump account with the writers, he would detonate the mother of all the bombs and likely face hearings and subpoenas.

But that doesn’t mean Woodward and Costa missed the mark by uncovering the most sensitive details yet in the final weeks of the Trump presidency.

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