If the allegations by Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa about Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley assuring China they would be warned, if then- President Trump decides to launch a military attack, the highest White House military adviser broke the law and should be called before Congress to testify, according to retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor.
Macgregor , who retired from the army in 2004 and became an adviserprincipal of the Pentagon for Trump-era Defense Secretary Christopher Miller said " Tucker Carlson Tonight "he wasn 't as surprised as the public by the allegation that Milley essentially undermined his boss, the then president, and comforted him a rival nation.
Macgregor told the host Tucker Carlson that he is not surprised by the allegation, but noted that Milley - at 8 p.m. ET - has not yet offered his side of the story. The Colonel added that Woodward - who has written other papers on the Trump era - tends to be "a bit flexible in interpreting " events and quotes.
For his share, Trump responded to the allegations , calling them "hard to believe " - but adding that if they are true, they constitute " betrayal "on the part of the General of the United States Army.
Carlson asked Macgregor if he was as blatant as it might appear that Milley called Chinese General Li Zuocheng without informing his boss, Trump.
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Macgregor replied that indeed Milley as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has no statutory authority, and therefore cannot engage in politics or make decisions military, but only advising the president who is the real commander-in-chief - in the unique American system where the military is led by civilians and not led by an active duty general.
"The President [of JCoS] is not in a position to order anyone in the armed forces to say or do anything. He cannot do that. He is par excellence the chief military adviser to the president. This is what he is, so in theory, before making such a phone call, he would discuss the subject of the phone call.with the president, the commander-in-chief, "Macgregor said.
" He certainly wouldn't do something without coordination with the national security adviser and secretary of state, because it goes beyond defense. It is a foreign policy statement that he makes. These are important things to understand. "
" [Milley] broke the law, if that turns out to be true. We really need to hear him - Congress needs to bring him in, he needs to be sworn in and answer questions in the Senate on this whole matter. "
Macgregor added that another aspect of the scenario is the fact that the president cannot act completely independently in launching a nuclear weapon, as critics may have feared, but instead d must engage in a "consultative process.
However, this process does not include Milley as president of JCoS, but rather the Pentagon leader and " Strategic Command ".
"[It] has nothing to do with Milley - [but] as an adviser General Milley can speak out and suggest what they should and should not do ", a he said.
The colonel added that Milley, who continues in his role as president under the president Joe Biden , might have resigned from his post if he felt so badly that Trump was reckless or whatever the 'adjective.
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"This does not mean he must leave the armed forces, it means he is leaving his post and someone else can be recruited. This is what you doare if you have a belief that you are dealing with someone you cannot support, "Macgregor said of Milley, who has been in the military since 1980.
More Later, Carlson said the allegations further emboldened his view that Milley is a "dishonorable man " - reverting to his controversial testimony on "White rage " and other comments in Congress.
"On the other hand, we know for a fact that he was speaking as, I guess, as a political supporter of the leaders of the other party," Carlson added, noting that Woodward and Costa reported that the general - while not informing Trump of his alleged contact with General Li - had spoken to the senator. Charles E. Schumer of New York and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.
"He made it clear on several occasions that he was speaking directly to [them], reassuring them that He was in control of things in the Pentagon. Ba lot of people who saw it, including the acting defense secretary. This is unfortunate, "said Macgregor, again hinting that Milley should in theory have no statutory control over military operations.
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"I just want to clarify a point " Macgregor told Carlson. "President Trump is not someone who is ready to launch a nuclear strike against anybody. This is absurd nonsense. "
In conclusion, Carlson noted that Trump was the first president since Jimmy Carter not to start a war under his watch, contrary to claims that the Palm Beach Republican is notoriously hawkish.