News and Analysis

Gen. Milley Appearing On CNN ‘Even Better’ Than Testifying Under Oath: Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo visits SiriusXM Studios on September 26, 2018 in New York City.
Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images

Republicans have called on General Mark Milley to resign, be fired, or even be court-martialed for allegedly offering to alert Chinese military officials in the event of an impending U.S. attack. Others have said that Milley must answer for his actions to Congress, under oath — but CNN’s Chris Cuomo believes it would be “even better” if the general faced questioning in another venue: CNN’s “Cuomo Prime Time.”

Chris Cuomo said, unlike elected officials in a formal hearing, he won’t bring any political “agendas” to the interview. He promises to engage in a rigorous pursuit of the truth.

Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book, “Peril,” claims that General Milley grew so fearful about President Donald Trump attacking China that he placed two phone calls to his Chinese counterpart, People’s Liberation Army General Li Zuocheng, last October and this January. The book presents a transcript of the call, in which Milley tells the Chinese Communist general, “If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”

The book also says that Milley believed President Donald Trump could go rouge and launch a nuclear attack. To prevent such a “Wag the Dog” scenario, the book says, Milley told his fellow military leaders that no one was to launch nuclear missiles unless he was involved. But the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is not part of the chain of command on nuclear strike issues.

General Milley has confirmed that he called General Li but did not comment on the substance of their discussion, and he admits meeting with other military leaders about nuclear launch “protocol” but says he followed the law.

Christopher Miller, who served as acting Secretary of Defense late in the Trump administration, condemned Milley’s actions as a “disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination.”

Others want to get all the facts out under oath. “It’s fairly common for senior military leaders and Cabinet members to talk to their counterparts in other countries,” Senator Tom Cotton (R-AR) told “Fox and Friends” earlier this week. “And that’s why we need to hear straight from the horse’s mouth” about what he told the Chinese military.

Milley will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 28.

But Cuomo says his 9 p.m. show on CNN would be a “better” forum than testifying before a congressional hearing under pain of perjury.

“I still think Milley has to testify in the open — no national security veil, no closed meeting, open meeting,” Cuomo said. “Why? Because then we’re going to have to hear interpretation from politicians,” he said.

“We know he’s scheduled to speak in two weeks,” said Cuomo, referring to the Senate testimony.

“Even better, he should come here,” Cuomo said of his eponymous CNN show, which is the lowest rated of the three major cable TV news shows that air in his time slot.

“I’ll give him the full hour to explain,” he pitched. “And there won’t be competing agendas going on. We can get after the truth, without that toxic, two-side play going on.”

Cuomo is certainly unlikely to present a “competing” agenda to the general’s preferred narrative. Just minutes earlier, Cuomo hailed Milley as “the man who protected the democracy” from its elected president.

Cuomo further complained that “part of [Milley’s Senate testimony] is going to be closed” to the public, due to the sensitive nature of the classified material under discussion. He believes everything should be open.

Of course, Cuomo received “confidential and often privileged information” about the women who publicly accused his brother, former New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D), of sexually harassing them during his three terms in office, according to an extensive report from New York Attorney General Letitia James.

The host went on to say that those who believe the American people empowered the president to serve as their commander-in-chief are being disingenuous.

“You need to beware of the people calling for Milley’s head,” he said. “They’re distracting from the real headline from this book,” namely its alleged “confirmation of how out of control President Trump was.”

But Senator Marco Rubio said, if the transcript is correct, Milley “contemplated a treasonous leak” to Beijing.

You can watch the segment below.

The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  Gen. Milley Appearing On CNN ‘Even Better’ Than Testifying Under Oath: Chris Cuomo