Former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former National Security Adviser Robert O'Brien did not know of any intelligence while in office that showed Chinese officials believed the U.S. was planning an attack around the time of the 2020 elections, Fox News is reporting.
The news network attributed the information to unnamed former government officials.
"Peril," a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, wages claims Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley had sought to assure China's Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People's Liberation Army in calls that the United States was stable and not going to attack, Reuters reported. And, if there were to be an attack, he would alert his counterpart ahead of time, according to the wire service.
Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, said the calls with the Chinese in October and January were "in keeping with these duties and responsibilities conveying reassurance in order to maintain strategic stability."
The book also claims Milley, concerned then-President Donald Trump could "go rogue," called a secret meeting at the Pentagon two days after the Jan. 6 storming of the Capitol to limit Trump's ability to launch nuclear weapons or order a dangerous military strike.
"You never know what a president's trigger point is," Gen. Milley told his members of his senior staff, the book says. It noted Milley, who was shaken by the violence of that day, "was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election" and was "now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies," CNN reported.
Meanwhile, Fox News reported Pompeo and O'Brien had not spoken to Milley about any intelligence regarding a possible attack on China.
Former acting Secretary of Defense Christopher Miller said he "did not and would not ever authorize" Milley to make such calls. He called the claims in the book "disgraceful and unprecedented act of insubordination."
Fox News said 15 officials were present for the calls, which were made via video conferencing.
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