Sen. Reed: Gen. Milley was right to reach out to China

Sen. Jack Reed (D-RI), photo by Steve Klamkin WPRO News and General Mark Milley, Department of Defense photo

By Steve Klamkin WPRO News

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jack Reed says the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff was acting within his authority when he reached out to call his Chinese counterpart to ease fears about then-President Donald Trump at the time of the November, 2020 election, and the subsequent Capitol riot on the day the election was to be certified by Congress.

Gen. Milley’s calls, detailed in the upcoming book “Peril”, written by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa of the Washington Post, have sparked an outcry that he acted outside the military chain of command, including calls that Milley resign.

Reed said General Mark Milley acted appropriately, notifying the Secretary of Defense and Acting Secretary about his calls to reassure China‚Äôs top General, calling such high level contacts “absolutely essential.”

“In fact, these contacts are very important because many times you can communicate more effectively than through the ambassador or through any other forum,” Reed said in an interview on Friday.

“At least it avoided a potentially very damaging conflict with the Chinese,” Reed said.

Reed says Milley will have a chance to explain his actions in an upcoming committee hearing.

“This is something we have to look at, that the Chinese were misinterpreting and there was a possibility that they might do something reckless,” he said.