Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Gen. Mark Milley, reviewed “lawful launch procedures” for nuclear weapons following a call with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), where Pelosi called then-President Donald Trump “crazy” and suggested Milley should look at what “precautions” were available in case Trump tried to launch a nuclear strike.
The call with Pelosi appears in Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s new book, “Peril,” about the waning days of the Trump administration. Pelosi and Milley are reported to have discussed whether there were “precautions are available to prevent an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or from accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” according to Business Insider.
In the call, Pelosi also called the then-president “crazy,” and Milley reportedly agreed.
Milley told Pelosi that there were “a lot of checks in the system” to prevent Trump from going rogue, the book said.
Pelosi reportedly then told Milley: “He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy.”
“He’s crazy and what he did yesterday is further evidence of his craziness,” Pelosi added, referring to the deadly Capitol riot.
According to the book, Milley responded, “I agree with you on everything.”
Woodward and Costa said that Milley told others in the chain of command “not to take orders from anyone” in terms of a nuclear strike “unless he was involved,” effectively cutting Trump out of the process.
Now, Fox News’ national security reporter Jennifer Griffin says that, per the Pentagon, Milley did consult the “lawful launch procedures” for a nuclear weapon, though it appears he did not try to circumvent the official chain of command.
“Gen Milley did not try to insert himself in the chain of command regarding the launch of nuclear weapons, but he made sure everyone knew what their roles were and what they weren’t. They reviewed lawful launch procedures following Pelosi phone call,” Griffin quotes “Pentagon officials” as saying.
Pelosi spoke publicly about discussions with Milley back in January, telling reporters that, “This morning, I spoke to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
Griffin, in the same conversation, confirmed reports that Milley spoke with Chinese officials and NATO allies, but Griffin suggests that the Pentagon believed those conversations were designed to reassure allies and other national leaders that the January 6th riot at the United States Capitol did not destabilize the U.S. government.
“I am told that Gen Milley had 2 routine calls with his Chinese counterpart and more than a dozen calls with NATO allies after Jan 6 to reassure them the US government was stable and to reassure China that the US did not plan a surprise attack, an effort to avoid misunderstanding,” Griffin said on Twitter.
Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR) said on Monday that Congressional Republicans will not take any immediate action against Gen. Milley and will instead wait until Milley testifies before the Senate Armed Services Committee on September 28th. Milley is reportedly anxious to tell “his side of the story” following reports that the White House said Milley suggested closing Bagram Air Force Base instead of Hamid Karzai International Airport and following rumors that President Joe Biden ignored Milley when Milley proposed leaving several hundred troops in Afghanistan as peacekeepers.
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