General Mark Milley has responded to former President Donald Trump‘s suggestion that he would have been executed “in times gone by,” revealing that he has taken “safety precautions” to protect himself and his family.
In a Truth Social post last week, Trump denounced the Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman as a “woke train wreck” and said that his retirement on October 1 would “be a time for all citizens of the USA to celebrate.” The former president then suggested that reports claiming Milley called his Chinese counterpart in 2020 and promised to warn China of an impending attack meant that the general was guilty of a “treasonous act.”
“This guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States,” Trump wrote. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!”
Milley responded to the comment in an interview with CBS News anchor Norah O’Donnell, which is set to air on 60 Minutes on Sunday. Trump’s execution remark, which some have suggested amounted to a “marching order” to the former president’s supporters, was addressed in a preview clip posted to X, formerly Twitter, on Wednesday.
“That’s right, he said that, that’s correct,” Milley said after O’Donnell read Trump’s death penalty suggestion aloud. “I’m a soldier, I’ve been faithful and loyal to the Constitution of the United States for 44 1/2 years….You know, as much as these comments are directed at me, it’s also directed at the institution of the military.”
“Every single one of us, from private to general, are loyal to the Constitution, and we will never turn our back on it,” he continued. “No matter what the threats…I’m not going to comment directly on those things, but I can tell you that this military, this soldier—me—will never turn my back on the Constitution.”
In response to a question about whether “anything” about his phone calls to China was “inappropriate or treasonous,” Milley responded, “absolutely not.” O’Donnell then asked the general whether he was “worried about” his safety following Trump’s execution suggestion.
“I’ve got adequate safety precautions,” Milley replied. “I wish those comments had not been made, but they were. And we’ll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family.”
Newsweek reached out for comment to Trump’s office via email on Wednesday night.
Milley was appointed to his current position as the nation’s highest-ranking military officer by Trump in 2019. The general’s relationship with the former president has significantly deteriorated since then, with Trump later dismissing Milley as a “nutjob.”
Just prior to suggesting Milley’s execution last week, outrage erupted over comments that Trump reportedly made to the general in 2019, which were published by The Atlantic one day earlier.
Trump purportedly admonished Milley for allowing a wounded war veteran to sing God Bless America during an event, telling him that “no one wants to see that, the wounded.”