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Milley Defends Calls To Chinese At End Of Trump Presidency

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Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley speaks during a briefing with Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin at the Pentagon in Washington, Wednesday, Sept. 1, 2021, about the end of the war in Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

(AP) — The top U.S. military officer has told Congress he knew former President Donald Trump wasn’t planning to attack China and it was his job to reassure the Chinese of that fact in phone calls that have triggered outrage from some lawmakers. Army Gen. Mark Milley is chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. On Tuesday, Milley delivered a full-throated defense of two calls he made to his Chinese counterpart, saying he was responding to “concerning intelligence” China was worried about a U.S. attack. Milley says his task was “to de-escalate.” Details of Milley’s calls were first aired in excerpts from the book “Peril” by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.

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