Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley criticized Confederate symbols before the House Armed Services Committee on Thursday, and called the Civil War an "act of treason."

Why it matters: Milley said that minority service members — which he noted make up 43% of the U.S. military — may feel uncomfortable that Army bases are named for Confederate generals who "fought for an institution of slavery that may have enslaved one of their ancestors."

What he’s saying: "For those young soldiers that go on to a base of Fort Hood, Fort Bragg, whatever, named after a Confederate general, they can be reminded that that general fought for an institution of slavery."

  • "I had a staff sergeant when I was a young officer who actually told me that at Fort Bragg. He said he went to work every day on a base that represented a guy who enslaved his grandparents."
  • "The Confederacy, the American Civil War, was fought and it was an act of rebellion. It was an act of treason at the time against the union, against the stars and stripes, against the U.S. Constitution, and those officers turned their back on their oath."
  • "I personally think that the original decisions to name those bases after Confederate generals, the 10 bases you're talking about in the Army, those were political decisions back in the 1910s and 1920s and 1930s and World War I, World War II time frame, 100 years ago. And they're going to be political decisions today."
  • Milley said he has recommended a commission to reconsider the names of military bases named after Confederate generals.

The other side: President Trump in June criticized congressional efforts to change the names of the military installations, saying he will "not even consider" renaming bases.

  • "Our history as the Greatest Nation in the World will not be tampered with. Respect our Military!" Trump said.

Go deeper: Senate panel passes amendment to rename bases named for Confederate generals

Go deeper

Elliott Abrams to replace Brian Hook as Trump's Iran envoy

Brian Hook. Photo: Tayfun Coskun/Anadolu Agency via Getty Image

President Trump's Iran envoy, Brian Hook, is stepping down and will be replaced by Elliott Abrams, a noted Iran hawk who currently serves as Trump's envoy for Venezuela, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Thursday. Abrams will continue to serve in his role as Venezuela envoy.

Why it matters: Hook had been tasked with executing Trump's "maximum pressure" policy toward Iran, working closely with Pompeo. That strategy has deepened tensions and thus far failed to force Iran back to the negotiating table, as Trump had hoped.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive for coronavirus ahead of Trump visit

Photo: Justin Merriman/Getty Images

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R) has tested positive for COVID-19 and plans to quarantine at his home for the next 14 days, his office announced Thursday. He currently has no symptoms.

Why it matters: The 73-year-old DeWine was set to meet President Trump Thursday on the tarmac at an airport in Cleveland and was tested as part of standard protocol. He is the second governor known to have contracted the coronavirus, after Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt (R).

Updated 38 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 18,860,908 — Total deaths: 708,676— Total recoveries — 11,394,821Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 12:30 p.m. ET: 4,834,546 — Total deaths: 158,445 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Politics: Pelosi rips GOP: "Perhaps you mistook them for somebody who gives a damn" — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine tests positive.
  4. Public health: Fauci says task force will examine aerosolized spread.
  5. Business: July's jobs report could be an inflection point for the recovery — Teladoc and Livongo merge into virtual care giant.
  6. Sports: Where college football's biggest conferences stand on playing.