Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioMilley says calls to China were 'perfectly within the duties' of his job Overnight Defense & National Security — Milley becomes lightning rod Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley becomes lightning rod on right MORE (R-Fla.) in a Tuesday letter called on President BidenJoe BidenSunday shows preview: Coronavirus dominates as country struggles with delta variant Did President Biden institute a vaccine mandate for only half the nation's teachers? Democrats lean into vaccine mandates ahead of midterms MORE to fire Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Pentagon admits 'tragic mistake' in strike that killed 10 civilians The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Facebook - Washington braces for Jan. 6 rally MORE over what he said was the "contemplation" of a leak of classified information to China.
Rubio also criticized Milley for undermining former President TrumpDonald TrumpKinzinger says Trump 'winning' because so many Republicans 'have remained silent' Our remote warfare counterterrorism strategy is more risk than reward Far-right rally draws small crowd, large police presence at Capitol MORE with reported communications to China.
The upcoming book "Peril" by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of The Washington Post says that Milley called Chinese officials in the final weeks of Trump's tenure to assure them that the U.S. was under control despite the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by a mob of the former president's supporters. The New York Times published an account of the episode.
"I write with grave concern regarding recent reporting that General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People’s Republic of China (PRC)," Rubio's letter said.
"These actions by General Milley demonstrate a clear lack of sound judgement, and I urge you to dismiss him immediately," he added.
Rubio specifically referenced the report of Milley saying to his counterpart in China, “You and I have known each other for now five years. If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise.”
"Peril" also said that Milley feared Trump could "go rogue," according to CNN.
"General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military’s judgement as more stable than its civilian commander," Rubio also said in the letter. "It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military."