Cheney apologizes to Milley for 'despicable' questioning from fellow Republicans

Rep. Liz CheneyElizabeth (Liz) Lynn CheneyMeadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report Trump calls Liz Cheney a 'smug fool' The Hill's 12:30 Report - Presented by Altria - White House tackles how to vaccinate children ages 5+ MORE (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday apologized to Gen. Mark MilleyMark MilleyRepublicans would need a promotion to be 'paper tigers' We've left Afghanistan — but its consequences are just starting to arrive Key Iraq War strategist and former Army chief Raymond Odierno dies at 67 MORE for what she called "despicable" questioning of the top military general by fellow Republican lawmakers during a congressional hearing, as the Joint Chiefs chairman fielded questions about comments he made following the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, and phone calls he had with a Chinese official to assure them that the U.S. was not preparing an attack.

Cheney, during a House Armed Services Committee hearing about the U.S.’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, opened her five minutes of questioning by discussing the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol, arguing that some lawmakers “failed to do their duty.”

Cheney is one of two Republicans to sit on the select committee probing the riots, along with Rep. Adam KinzingerAdam Daniel KinzingerKinzinger defends not supporting voting rights act: 'Democrats have to quit playing politics' Sunday shows preview: Supply chain crisis threaten holiday sales; uncertainty over whether US can sustain nationwide downward trend in COVID-19 cases Illinois Democrats propose new 'maximized' congressional map MORE (Ill.).

ADVERTISEMENT

“In the aftermath of that attack, many of the members of our constitutional system failed to do their duty. Many of them punted, many of them today are still attempting to obstruct the investigation into that attack, attempting to whitewash what happened,” Cheney said.

She was referring to the refusal by a number of GOP lawmakers to vote to certify the 2020 presidential election results in certain states that former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump announces new social media network called 'TRUTH Social' Virginia State Police investigating death threat against McAuliffe Meadows hires former deputy AG to represent him in Jan. 6 probe: report MORE lost, and Republicans’ opposition to taking part in the House’s probe of the attack.

Cheney criticized fellow Republican on the panel for questioning the general’s loyalty to the U.S., calling the actions “despicable.”

“For any member of this committee, for any American, to question your loyalty to our nation, to question your understanding of our Constitution, your loyalty to our Constitution, your recognition and understanding of the civilian chain of command, is despicable,” Cheney said.

“I want to apologize for those members of this committee who've done so, and I want to thank you for standing in the breach when so many, including many in this room, failed to do so,” she added.

Several GOP representatives questioned the Joint Chiefs chairman about a conversation he had with Speaker Nancy PelosiNancy PelosiOvernight Defense & National Security — Presented by Raytheon Technologies — Navy probe reveals disastrous ship fire response GOP rep leaves committee assignments after indictment Under pressure, Democrats cut back spending MORE (D-Calif.) following the Jan. 6 attack, and alleged phone calls he made to his Chinese counterpart pertaining to a potential attack by the U.S.

The revelations were first reported in the book “Peril,” written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post’s Robert Costa.

ADVERTISEMENT

The book details a phone call between Milley and Pelosi, in which the general agreed with the Speaker’s interpretation that Trump was “crazy.”

The book also reports that Milley spoke with Chinese General Li Zuocheng to reassure his counterpart that the U.S. was not preparing a strike against China, and to note that America was not on the brink of collapse following the Jan. 6 attack.

Milley defended the phone calls during Wednesday’s hearing, arguing that he would never “tip off the enemy about what the United States is going to do in an actual plan.”

A number of Republicans used the bombshell reports to question the general’s credibility.

Rep. Vicky HartzlerVicky Jo HartzlerHartzler pulls in 6,000 for Missouri Senate bid with .65M on hand Cheney apologizes to Milley for 'despicable' questioning from fellow Republicans After messy Afghanistan withdrawal, questions remain MORE (R-Mo.) said Milley’s call with Li went against the U.S. and is “worthy of your resignation.”

Rep. Matt GaetzMatthew (Matt) GaetzHouse GOP leaders urge 'no' vote on Bannon contempt Cheney presses Republicans to back Bannon contempt vote Judge grants another sentencing delay to Gaetz associate, but says it will be his last MORE (R-Fla.) accused Milley of “undermining the chain of command.”

“You said yesterday that you weren't going to resign when senators asked you this question, and I believe that you guys probably won't resign,” Gaetz said, according to NBC News. "You seem to be very happy failing up over there. But if we didn't have a president that was so addled, you all would be fired.”