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Milley discussed resigning from post after Trump photo-op: report

Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley discussed resigning after his participation in President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies MORE’s photo opportunity outside St. John’s Episcopal Church last week, according to three senior defense officials, NBC reported.

Milley was seen last week walking to the church with President Trump and Secretary of Defense Mark EsperMark EsperInspector general chose not to investigate Secret Service in clearing of Lafayette Square: report The paradox of US-India relations Overnight Defense: Trump-era land mine policy unchanged amid review | Biden spending outline coming Friday | First lady sets priorities for relaunched military families initiative MORE, among other Trump administration officials in his military fatigues. There, Trump posed for a photo with a bible in his hand in front of St. John's. 

Just before the group embarked on their walk, federal law enforcement dispersed peaceful protesters from Layfayette Square with tear gas, rubber bullets and flash bangs. The protesters were demonstrating against the death of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in Minneapolis police custody on May 25 after an officer knelt on his neck for more than eight minutes. 

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Trump has been widely criticized for the photo-op and the decision to clear the protesters.

According to the Defense officials, Milley reportedly "spent hours" the same night pouring over criticism of his appearance in the group with Trump and others and wearing his military uniform while doing so. Officials told NBC that he spoke with "several confidantes" about whether or not to resign from his post. 

An official confirmed to the news outlet that Milley did speak to "several of his long-standing mentors to discuss his situation,” according to the report. 

The Pentagon chief has also reportedly clashed with Trump after the president wanted to deploy 10,000 troops to quell protesters in the nation's capital. Esper and Attorney General William BarrBill BarrGroups see new openings for digging up dirt on Trump Amy Coney Barrett receives million advance for book deal: report Garland rescinds Trump-era memo curtailing consent decrees MORE also reportedly pushed back on the idea.

Milley became so frustrated during the meeting he shook his fists to emphasize his points, according to the news source. 

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The news of the discussions comes after Milley said during a recorded message aired at the graduation of the National Defense University on Thursday morning that he regretting participating in the photo-op. 

“I should not have been there,” Milley said. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”

Trump’s former Defense secretary, James MattisJames Norman MattisBiden's is not a leaky ship of state — not yet Rejoining the Iran nuclear deal would save lives of US troops, diplomats The soft but unmatched power of US foreign exchange programs MORE, has criticized Trump's response to peaceful protesters, and Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Chauvin conviction puts renewed focus on police reform GOP sees immigration as path to regain power Harris casts tiebreaking vote to advance Biden nominee MORE (R-Alaska) has stood by Mattis’s statements.