Sep 15, 2021 - Politics & Policy

Biden expresses "great confidence" in top general after Woodward report

President Biden speaks during an event.
Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

President Biden on Wednesday expressed "great confidence" in Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley after a new book said the general secretly assured his Chinese counterpart that President Trump had no plans to launch an attack.

The big picture: Details emerged that Milley told his Chinese counterpart that if Trump did decide to attack, Milley would give him a heads-up, Axios' Jonathan Swan reports.

  • New excerpts from "Peril" by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa report secret moves by the highest-ranking military officers to manage national security risks that they believed former President Trump posed near the end of his term.

What they're saying: "The president has worked side by side with Chairman Milley for almost eight months as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs," White House press secretary Jen Psaki said earlier Wednesday.

  • "His experience with him has been that he is a patriot, he is somebody who has fidelity to the Constitution, and he has confidence in his leadership and the role he has played in his experience with him."
  • "I can't speak to anonymous unconfirmed reports about prior conversations during the last administration," Psaki said.

What to watch: Milley will testify at a Sept. 28 Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, where he will likely field questions on his actions during the final days of the Trump presidency.

Go deeper: Mark Milley's crisis

Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new details throughout.

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