Gen. Mark Milley arrives at the fifth meeting of the Ukraine Contact Group at the U.S. Ramstein Air Base in Germany, Sept. 19, 2023.
Boris Roessler | Picture Alliance | Getty Images
WASHINGTON — Former President Donald Trump and Republican Rep. Paul Gosar of Arizona suggested that outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley is a traitor who deserves to be executed.
Trump blasted Milley, an Army general, in a social media post Friday that accused Milley of going behind his back by making phone calls to Chinese counterparts in the final months of Trump’s administration.
“If the Fake News reporting is correct, [Milley] was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States,” Trump wrote in the post on his Truth Social site.
“This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been death!”
“A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act,” wrote Trump, who by a wide margin is leading in polls of 2024 GOP presidential nomination contenders.
Milley in September 2021 told Congress he had made it clear to Chinese officials that Trump was not planning to attack China in his final weeks as president.
“My task at that time was to de-escalate,” Milley told the Senate Armed Services Committee. “My message again was consistent: Stay calm, steady, and de-escalate. We are not going to attack you.”
Gosar in a newsletter published Sunday accused Milley of coordinating with then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., “to hurt President Trump, and treasonously working behind Trump’s back” by purportedly delaying National Guard assistance to the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6, 2021, riot.
“In a better society, quislings like the strange sodomy-promoting General Milley would be hung,” Gosar wrote.
Gosar also called Milley, a four-star general with more than four decades of military service, a “traitor.”
A spokesman for Milley, who is stepping down as Joint Chiefs chairman at the end of September, did not immediately respond to a request for comment from CNBC.
Pelosi, when asked about Trump’s comments on Monday night by MSNBC’s Jen Psaki, said, “To engage in language like that should be something that would eliminate somebody as a prospect for any public office.”
Trump while president regularly dressed down military officials, calling Milley a “dumbass” in 2021 and former Secretary of Defense James Mattis “the world’s most overrated general.”
In 2020, The Atlantic reported that Trump declined to visit an American cemetery near Paris in 2018, and referred to U.S. Marines buried there as “losers” and “suckers.”
“Why should I go to that cemetery? It’s filled with losers,” Trump reportedly told aides after scrapping the visit to Aisne-Marne American Cemetery.
The report said Trump later referred to the more than 1,800 Marines who lost their lives in the Battle of Belleau Wood in France as “suckers” for getting killed.
The 1918 battle dragged on for 20 days and ended with Marines successfully clearing out German camps. The Allied victory is known as an enduring symbol in Marine Corps history.