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Gen. Mark Milley walking through Congress in July. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told Congress that the U.S. armed forces will not be involved in the election process or resolving a possible disputed vote this November, according to comments released Friday to AP.

Why it matters: The statements from the top U.S. military officer come after President Trump floated delaying the election, repeatedly claimed without evidence that the upcoming election will be rigged or affected by widespread voter fraud, and refused to say whether he will accept the election results if he loses.

What he's saying: “I believe deeply in the principle of an apolitical U.S. military,” Milley said in written responses to questions from two Democratic members of the House Armed Services Committee, according to AP.

  • “In the event of a dispute over some aspect of the elections, by law U.S. courts and the U.S. Congress are required to resolve any disputes, not the U.S. military. I foresee no role for the U.S armed forces in this process.”
  • When asked whether the armed forces would reject a presidential order to use military force for political gain, Milley said, “I will not follow an unlawful order.”

The big picture: This marks the second time that Milley has recently stressed the nonpartisan nature of the U.S. military.

What to watch: Members of the House Armed Services Committee now await responses to questions that were also sent to Defense Secretary Mark Esper.

Go deeper

Updated Nov 22, 2020 - Politics & Policy

Trump campaign asks Georgia for another election recount

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Photo: Paras Griffin/Getty Images

Georgia will conduct another presidential election results recount following a Trump campaign request on Saturday.

Why it matters: State election officials and Gov. Brian Kemp (R) on Friday certified Georgia's election results that show President-elect Joe Biden officially won the state by just over 12,600 votes.

House cancels Thursday session as FBI, Homeland Security warn of threat to Capitol

Photo: Eric Baradat/AFP via Getty Images

The FBI and Department of Homeland Security predict violent domestic extremists attacks will increase in 2021, according to a report reviewed by Axios.

Driving the news: The joint report says an unidentified group of extremists discussed plans to take control of the Capitol and "remove Democratic lawmakers" on or about March 4. The House canceled its plans for Thursday votes as word of the possible threats spread.

41 mins ago - World

Pope Francis set to make first papal visit to Iraq amid possible turmoil

Data: Vatican News; Map: Danielle Alberti/Axios

Pope Francis is forging ahead with the first papal trip to Iraq despite new coronavirus outbreaks and fears of instability.

The big picture: The March 5–8 visit is intended to reassure Christians in Iraq who were violently persecuted under the Islamic State. Francis also hopes to further ties with Shiite Muslims, AP notes.

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