Mark Milley Accused of Treason As Republicans Urge Joe Biden to Fire Him

General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is facing accusations of treason from Republicans who have called on President Joe Biden to fire the United States' highest-ranking military officer.

Calls for Milley's ouster stem from a Washington Post article on Tuesday about two phone calls the general reportedly made to General Li Zuocheng of China on October 30, 2020, and January 8, 2021.

According to the article, Milley wanted to reassure Li that the U.S. was not going to attack China amid concerns about former President Donald Trump. He told Li he would inform him if there were to be an attack.

The second call was prompted in part by Milley's call with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi on January 8, when she expressed concern about Trump's mental state. She told Milley: "You know he's crazy."

"I agree with you on everything," Milley said, according to a transcript cited by the Post.

The article on Milley's calls with Li is based on the new book Peril by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa. The journalists said the book was based on interviews with 200 sources

Republicans reacted with outrage to the Post's report and urged Biden to fire Milley. Some also suggested the general had committed treason or was considering it.

Former President Trump issued a statement on Tuesday calling Milley a "dumbass." He added that if the story were true, "I assume he would be tried for TREASON in that he would have been dealing with his Chinese counterpart behind the President's back and telling China that he would be giving them notification 'of an attack.' Can't do that!"

Trump said the idea he would launch a strike on China was "Fake News concocted by a weak and ineffective General together with two authors who I refused to give an interview to because they write fiction, not fact."

He added that he "never even thought of attacking China—and China knows that."

Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) wrote to President Biden saying Milley had "worked to actively undermine the sitting Commander in Chief of the United States Armed Forces and contemplated a treasonous leak of classified information to the Chinese Communist Party in advance of a potential armed conflict with the People's Republic of China."

He added: "General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military's judgement as more stable than its civilian commander.

TREASON! Today’s news adds to the long list of why Milley must go IMMEDIATELY! If this is true, he needs to be prosecuted, tried, and sentenced to the FULLEST extent of the law. NOTHING LESS! Colluding with our ENEMIES to undermine the President is TRAITOROUS!

— Ronny Jackson (@RonnyJacksonTX) September 15, 2021

"It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation's longstanding principle of civilian control of the military," he said. "You must immediately dismiss General Milley. America's national security and ability to lead in the world are at stake."

Rep. Ronny Jackson, who represents Texas' 13th congressional district, accused Milley of treason in a Twitter post.

"TREASON! Today's news adds to the long list of why Milley must go IMMEDIATELY! If this is true, he needs to be prosecuted, tried, and sentenced to the FULLEST extent of the law. NOTHING LESS! Colluding with our ENEMIES to undermine the President is TRAITOROUS!" Jackson wrote.

Rep. Warren Davidson of Ohio's 8th district tweeted: "General Mark Milley should have already been fired. If these new allegations are correct, he should be court-martialed. America Last from the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs directly to China cannot be ignored."

Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) also suggested Milley could face a court-martial.

"I don't care what you think of President Trump, the Chairman of the JCOS working to subvert the military chain of command and collude with China is exactly what we do not accept from military leaders in our country. He should be court martialed if true," Paul posted.

Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado's 5th district tweeted: "I am astounded by the extraordinary lack of judgment by Gen. Milley & his willingness to compromise our national security & risk American lives. If Milley really did coordinate with his counterparts in the #CCP, behind the back of the President, he should be relieved of duty."

Newsweek has asked the Joint Chiefs of Staff for comment.

General Mark Milley Speaks to the Press
General Mark Milley speaks to the press on August 18 at the Pentagon. Some Republicans have suggested the chairman of the joint chiefs of staff committed treason in phone calls with a Chinese general. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP/Getty Images