During Tuesday’s Senate Armed Services Committee hearing into the chaotic withdrawal from Afghanistan Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley detailed a past phone call with Nancy Pelosi regarding President Trump. The phone call occurred in the days following the Capitol riot in January during which Pelosi, a known rival to then-President Trump, questioned that chain-of-command regarding the country’s nuclear weapons.
Milley addressed the call with Pelosi after being pressed on alleged secret calls to Chinese officials during the final week of Trump’s presidency.
In his remarks, Milley also addressed a phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on January 8, 2021 in which she pressed him about the process to launch a nuclear weapon. Milley says he informed her that while launching such a weapon requires multiple people in the chain-of-command, the President is the sole authority to launch an attack.
“Speaker of the House Pelosi called me to inquire about the president’s ability to launch nuclear weapons. I sought to assure her that nuclear launch is governed by a very specific and deliberate process. She was concerned and made various personal references characterizing the president [President Trump]. I explained to her the president is the sole nuclear launch authority and he doesn’t launch them alone and that I am not qualified to determine the mental health of the President of the United States,” Milley said. “There are processes, protocols and procedures in place and I repeatedly assured her there was no chance of an illegal, unauthorized or accidental launch. By presidential directive, and Secretary of Defense directive, the chairman is part of the process to ensure the president is fully informed when determining the use of the world’s deadliest weapons. By law I’m not in the chain-of-command and I know that. However, by presidential directive and DOD instruction, I am in the chain-of-communication to fulfill my legal, statutory role as the president’s primary military advisor.”
Milley said after the call from Pelosi, he convened a meeting with his staff to go through the process and procedures. He also told Acting Secretary of Defense Mark Miller about Pelosi’s call.
“At no time was I trying to change or influence the process, usurp authority or insert my self in the chain-of-command,” Milley said.
Watch Gen. Milley’s testimony HERE.