Former Pentagon chief Mark Esper has stepped out in defence of his colleague, Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Mark Milley, following former president Donald Trump’s tirade accusing the general of being afraid of “upsetting the woke mob” and demanding his resignation.
“Personal attacks on General Mark Milley and calls for him to resign are completely unwarranted. He and I worked together for 3+ years to advance America’s security and strengthen our armed forces. He is an officer and person of impeccable integrity and professionalism,” Esper tweeted.
Characterizing Milley as a “decorated veteran” with a 40+ year service record, Esper stressed that the general’s “patriotism and commitment to the Constitution are without question,” and suggested that “attempts to denigrate him and politicise our military our wrong.”
Esper’s comments follow remarks by Trump attacking Milley and calling on him to quit amid the latter’s attempts to distance himself from the former president and his alleged efforts to “ingratiate himself” with President Joe Biden and his woke military reforms.
“Mark Milley’s greatest fear is upsetting the woke mob. When Black Lives Matters rioters were threatening to destroy Washington, DC, he practically begged me not to send the military to stop the riots,” Trump wrote in a statement released Wednesday. “Milley later issued an embarrassing and groveling apology for walking at my side to St. John’s Church, which far-left rioters almost burned to the ground the day before,” Trump added.
“Instead of denouncing the rioters, he denounced himself – a humiliation for our Military,” Trump complained, calling Milley a “fool” for supporting allegations from last year that police had cleared the park near the church so that Trump and other officials could do a photo op. These claims have since been disputed.
Commenting on the recent reports that he and Milley ‘blew up at one another’ on how to handle the BLM protests, Trump claimed that these reports were “totally Fake News,” and dismissed Milley’s actions as “yet another desperate ploy to impress the Radical Left and keep his job.”
Trump went on to attack Milley over his recent congressional testimony, accusing him of defending the “Critical Race Theory being shoved down the throats of our soldiers.” The former president urged Congress to “defund this racist indoctrination” as soon as possible and called on Milley to “be replaced with someone who is actually willing to defend our Military from the Leftist Radicals who hate our Country and our Flag.”
Trump has dismissed the new book’s claims as “fake news” and said he and Milley never shouted at one another.