By Jimmy Orr, Cowboy State Daily
U.S. Rep Liz Cheney, R-Wyoming, made it clear on Wednesday that she strongly supports Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and had harsh words for many of her Republican colleagues who questioned his loyalty to the nation.
Cheney, speaking at a House Armed Services Committee hearing on the withdrawal from Afghanistan, used a portion of her time — as did many of her colleagues — to discuss Milley’s communications with Chinese military officials near the end of the term of former President Donald Trump.
While some Republicans on the committee like frequent critic Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Florida, told Milley he should resign, Cheney praised the general for “standing in the breach” while others, she said, didn’t follow the Constitution.
“In the aftermath of that attack, many of the members of our constitutional system failed to do their duty,” Cheney said. “Many of them punted. Many of them today are still attempting to obstruct the investigation into that attack, attempting to whitewash what happened.”
According to reports published in the book “Peril” by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Milley acted on his own to contact the Chinese to assure leaders that Trump would not launch an attack on China as his presidency neared its end. The book also said Milley held secret meetings on Jan. 8 to take steps to prevent Trump from launching military action.
As she has frequently done, Cheney emphasized how serious she believes the riots on Jan. 6 were, stating that it was the “first time in history that a peaceful transfer of power didn’t happen.”
To many of her colleagues in Washington, not to mention her challengers in Wyoming, the events of Jan. 6 are not that serious.
While some critics demanded Milley step down during hearings Wednesday for what they perceivd as actions against a sitting president, Cheney applauded his loyalty to the country.
“General Milley, you found yourself in your constitutionally prescribed role, standing in the breach,” she said.
“And for any member of this committee, for any American to question your loyalty to our nation, to question your understanding of our Constitution, your loyalty to our Constitution, your recognition and understanding of the civilian chain of command is despicable,” she said.
Milley has ignored calls for his resignation over the discussions with the Chinese, saying that he believed he was carrying out the will of the president because he “knew with certainty that President Trump was not going to attack the Chinese out of the blue.”