Before calls for White House Joints Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley's resignation or action against him, Rep. Michael Waltz, R-Fla., told Newsmax that Congress needs to hear from Milley himself.
"We have to get to the bottom of what happened," Waltz said Wednesday on "Cortes & Pellegrino," referring to the reports from Bob Woodward and Robert Costa's soon-to-be released book, ''Peril,'' claiming that Milley promised to tip the Chinese government off before any potential U.S. attack.
"The allegations are incredibly concerning. They have huge implications for civilian control of the military, which is sacrosanct in any democracy.
"I am withholding right now calling for any type of resignation or action. I don't do that based on leaked book excerpts, especially from Bob Woodward, who himself wrote several books about President [Donald] Trump that had all kinds of misinformation, but we do need to get to the bottom of it."
Waltz, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and a former Army Green Beret, told co-host Jenn Pellegrino that he and Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., have sent a letter asking for answers to questions from the Pentagon and State Department amid the reports.
"We have upcoming hearings that where we are going to ask for things under oath and in testimony on exactly what happened," Waltz said, adding a warning that the book's claims might not be entirely factual.
"I think if they are true, and I think that's a that's a big if when it comes to the media and the fake news in Washington, D.C., but if they are true, they're very concerning," he continued.
"I want to know, for example, if Chairman Milley was so concerned about President Trump's mental state, did he share his concerns with any other Cabinet officers. Did he share and coordinate this call with his Chinese counterpart? Did he inform Secretary [Mike] Pompeo? Did he inform President Trump's national security adviser, Robert O'Brien, because there are a number of other issues going on with China at the time."
Waltz said the crux of the issue is the stability of the government and the chain of command in the military during a presidential transition.
"When we're in any type of political transition, we are incredibly vulnerable as a country," Waltz said. "The Russians know it. The Chinese know it. The Iranians and North Koreans know it. And of course, terrorists know it.
"So, again, we have a lot to get to the bottom of, but I do want to hear from Gen. Milley himself."
Waltz noted that Milley has said in 2015 that "China is not our enemy," but he has spoken with Milley and knows that position has since changed.
"That, frankly, was wishful thinking that a lot of people had, and that has absolutely changed," he said. "And I can tell you I've had those conversations with Gen. Milley, and he does view them as I do: the Chinese Communist Party as the greatest threat this country has ever faced.
"And thank God President Trump came in in 2017, launched a new national security strategy and shifted our entire national security policy to deal with the threat that the CCP presents us."
Waltz said the threat China poses to the U.S. has only increased since Milley's 2015 remarks and the Trump administration's tougher stance on China.
"Look, their navy is larger than ours now," he continued. "They've launched more into space last year than the rest of the world combined, including the United States, and listen to Chairman Xi [Jinping], himself, the president of China, who openly talks about replacing the American dream with the China dream.
"That's not a world that I want my kids or grandkids growing up in. And I'm glad Milley's thinking has evolved. Heck, I'm glad all Americans' thinking has evolved."
First and foremost, Americans need to stop buying items made in China, because it funds our chief adversary, Waltz concluded.
"Where we really need to take the next step is when you pick up something in a store, and it says 'Made in China,' put it down. It needs to say 'Made in America,' because it's our money that's feeding our greatest adversary, their military buildup, and their desire to replace the United States as a world leader."
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