General Mark Milley on Wednesday defended speaking to political reporters, even as he claimed at least one of them had misrepresented him.
Milley has admitted to speaking to reporters for three different books, including “Peril”.
However, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has challenged some of the depictions in the books, claiming that he told a Chinese general that he would warn him if the United States was going to attack China.
Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.) wondered Wednesday why Milley would spend hours talking to reporters, all focused on politics.
“I believe that part of my job is to tell the media what we do as an army and military. Therefore, I do interviews regularly with print media, books, documentaries, TV interviews I think being transparent is part of a senior official’s job and I believe in a free press,” said Milley.
Banks counters that Miley should be embarrassed about his portrayal in “Peril.” The book states that while speaking with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) in January, Milley agreed with him when he claimed that then-President Donald Trump was insane.
“I know the portrayal is wrong. I know what I said, Madam Speaker, I am not qualified to judge or assess the mental health of this President or any President,” Milley said. said.
He also alleged that he did not recall labeling two media organizations as domestic terrorist groups in notes about the January 6 breach of the US Capitol, which the book says they did.
Speaking before a Senate panel on Tuesday, Milley said he talks to reporters to “make sure these writers have the right information.” In the case of Bob Woodward, one of the authors of “Peril,” “they approach my people to say whether these facts are true, that’s what we’ve heard,” Milley said.
On Wednesday, despite challenging key passages from Woodward’s book, Milley said he did not regret speaking with him.
“No. I think it’s important for me to talk to the media.”
Many Republicans have expressed disbelief that Milley took the time to speak to reporters, especially in light of the failed return to Afghanistan witnessed by Milley last month.
“I think what you did with taking the time to talk to these writers, burn your image, build that stigma, but then not focus on Afghanistan and what was happening there,” Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Ten.) told him during a hearing.
“This is creating a lot of anger among those who have relied on the army. They have realized that the military was one of the most trusted institutions, but to get the name in the book, ‘not to engage in political battles’, what you have managed to do is to politicize the US military, our allies. To undermine our reputation with,” he later added.
“You’ve spent more time with Bob Woodward on this book than you’ve spent analyzing the likely possibility that the Afghan government will immediately fall for the Taliban, right?” Representative Matt Getz (R-Fla.) made the allegation.
“Not even close, Congressman,” replied Milley.
Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), chairman of the House Armed Forces Committee, spoke in support of Milley on Wednesday.
“I will note for the record that I was quoted in the book as well and everything I said was mixed up and not portrayed 100 percent accurately,” he said. “It does happen. Just because someone says something doesn’t mean it’s an accurate depiction. It may be a misunderstanding of what was actually said.”
The authors of “Peril” did not immediately respond to a request for comment sent to their publisher, Simon & Schuster.
This News Originally From – The Epoch Times