Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was not informed at the time that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley made potentially treasonous phone calls to his counterpart in communist China.
“I have no recollection of Gen. Milley briefing me in the way that he described,” Pompeo told Megyn Kelly on “The Megyn Kelly Show” on Wednesday.
Milley reportedly called Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army twice while former President Donald Trump was still in office to reassure the communist military authority that the United States did not have plans to attack China.
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley allegedly told Zuocheng.
When questioned about the nature and frequency of the calls, Milley claimed that “shortly after my call ended with Gen. Li, I personally informed both Secretary of State Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff [Mark] Meadows about the call, among other topics.”
While Pompeo conceded that Milley could have simply stated, “Hey, I spoke with my Chinese counterpart yesterday,” which “wouldn’t have been something particularly memorable,” the contents of the conversation were assuredly not disclosed.
“It’s certain that he did not tell Chief Meadows or I that because — I don’t know if he told us, he thinks he told us, on the same phone call, but I can promise you that Chief Meadows would have called me immediately and said, ‘Hey, we got a real problem here.’ And if I had heard it, I would’ve gone high and right,” Pompeo said.
While Pompeo cautioned against believing everything Bob Woodward and Robert Costa report, he said he finds “the fact that Gen. Milley chose to speak with them at such great length … deeply troubling.”
“I’d be very surprised if that’s precisely how Gen. Milley told the Chinese that. I worked with Gen. Milley enough. But if he told Woodward and Costa that he said that, this is something he has to account for, that would be deeply inconsistent with his responsibilities, the senior military defense adviser to the president of United States. And it would make no tactical, operational, strategic sense to tell the Chinese that because in the end, it wasn’t going to be how we rolled it. It wasn’t how the Trump administration rolled,” Pompeo said.
“We didn’t warn our adversaries,” Pompeo added. “We didn’t tell them that there would be a date certain we’d leave Afghanistan. We were very clear. We were going to use American power to protect America’s interests. And we weren’t about warning our adversaries of a potential attack if it was inconsistent with our objectives.”