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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

VA secretary defends Trump's McCain war hero attacks as "heat of a campaign"

Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie defended then-candidate Donald Trump's 2015 comments disparaging John McCain's service in the Vietnam War, telling CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the comments were made "in the heat of the campaign."

Flashback: Trump publicly rejected the notion that McCain, who was held as a prisoner of war for more than five years while serving in the Navy during the Vietnam War, was a war hero. “He’s not a war hero," Trump said. "He was a war hero because he was captured. I like people who weren’t captured."

Updated 13 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.