Cheney apologizes to Milley for ‘despicable’ questioning from fellow Republicans

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) listens during a House Armed Services Committee on the conclusion of military operations in Afghanistan on September 29, 2021.

Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) on Wednesday apologized to Gen. Mark Milley 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 Kinzinger (Ill.).

“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 Trump 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 Pelosi (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.

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 Hartzler (R-Mo.) said Milley’s call with Li went against the U.S. and is “worthy of your resignation.”

Rep. Matt Gaetz (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.”

Tags Adam Kinzinger Donald Trump Liz Cheney Mark Milley Matt Gaetz Nancy Pelosi Vicky Hartzler

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