Republicans are gearing up to grill Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley on myriad questions they have, despite the general’s claims that he has answered “every single question” they have already.
In a recent NBC News report on GOP plans to put him on the hot seat on a number of issues, Milley’s spokesman Army Col. Dave Butler claimed Milley has not been contacted by any member of Congress about any pending testimony or new questions, saying “he considers it his responsibility to keep our lawmakers informed.”
Butler added to NBC News: “The chairman has answered every single question by any member of Congress either in person or in writing. … He has answered hundreds of written questions, he’s testified dozens of times in closed, classified sessions, and publicly. He has never refused a request from Congress to testify.”
Republican Study Committee Chairman Jim Banks (R-IN) said that is an “obviously false statement.”
“This isn’t the first time we’ve seen an outlandish and obviously false statement in a media outlet from General Milley. He still hasn’t answered questions Senator [Chuck] Grassley and I sent him 5 months ago about his alleged violation of the chain of command,” he said in a statement to Breitbart News.
“Fortunately, Gen. Milley won’t be able to stonewall House Republicans when we’re in the majority and I look forward to questioning him under oath soon at a House Armed Services hearing,” he added.
Banks and Grassley have tried for months to get a response from Milley about stunning allegations in the book Peril published late last year, including that after January 6, 2021, he had military officers swear not to take then-President Donald Trump’s orders without checking with him first, and that he had reassured his Chinese counterpart that he would notify him ahead of time if the U.S. were to attack China.
They said Milley has said his actions were on the “up and up” and promised he would read the book and report back to them on whether the allegations in the book were accurate, but still has not done so. Grassley said he has even sent handwritten notes to Milley, to which Milley responded with a 10-page letter that ignored his questions. Grassley said Milley later claimed there were no “direct” questions.
“I think I can legitimately ask, ‘Is that Pentagon baloney, or what is it,” Grassley said in a Senate floor speech in July, when he called on Milley to respond to his questions.
Grassley said during his July floor speech: “After my third note, Gen. Milley responded with the same old smoke and mirrors routine: ‘I have never read the books.’ Years of oversight have taught me this lesson. Evasive answers usually offer revealing clues about the truth.” He added:
I think Gen. Milley knows better. He knows the score. If those books and all attendant press coverage of those books had contained gross misrepresentations, we would have heard about it a long time ago. He would have been hammered by the authors and corrected the record. However, to date, not a peep from the general. His silence speaks volumes. Something doesn’t smell just right. As a Pentagon watchdog, when I get a whiff of wrongdoing, I sink in my teeth and don’t let go.
Grassley said he and Banks last sent Milley questions on April 2022, but said they still have no response.
Banks also delivered a statement on the House floor in July:
According to Bob Woodward’s book Peril, Gen. Mark Milley directed senior military officers NOT to follow the president’s orders, unless Gen. Milley approved them first. When I asked Gen. Milley about Peril at an Armed Services hearing, he claimed he hadn’t READ it. Convenient. So Sen. Chuck Grassley and I sent a letter to Gen. Milley, asking him to verify or refute the books’ claims.
He hasn’t responded. I am calling on Gen. Milley to set the record straight. Gen. Milley is accused of secretly SEIZING the president’s military powers. That is the most serious crime. If he is innocent, he has a duty to say so.
Butler, Milley’s spokesman, said in July in a statement to Breitbart News: “General Milley gave several thorough responses to the lawmaker’s repeated inquiries. General Milley addressed this issue multiple times in open, public and closed, classified sessions of Congress.”
“The recent statements and inquiries are the same ones General Milley answered in the past. This line of inquiry seems to be an attempt to politicize the military, an outcome which General Milley seeks to avoid,” Butler added.
House Republicans are planning to grill Milley on his stance on Critical Race Theory and wokeness spreading throughout the military, as well as on the disastrous withdrawal of Afghanistan, which happened on his watch and left 13 service members dead.
The NBC News report also cited anonymous military officials who claimed Milley was getting “death threats” from Trump supporters after he testified that he wanted to learn about “white rage.”
A senior Republican aide told Breitbart News in reference to those claims, “He’s basically Taylor Lorenz in uniform.”