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Republican Cheney offers strong defense of Milley, invokes Jan. 6 Capitol riot By Reuters


© Reuters. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, U.S. Army General Mark A. Milley, responds to questions during a House Armed Services Committee hearing on “Ending the U.S. Military Mission in Afghanistan” in the Rayburn House Office Building in Washington, U.S., S

By Patricia Zengerle and Phil Stewart

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Liz Cheney offered a resounding defense on Wednesday of General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, praising him for “standing in the breach” in the aftermath of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol and drawing a contrast with some of her fellow Republicans.

Milley spent the majority of the last two days dealing with the personal attacks of Republicans in the tense hearings about the withdrawal from Afghanistan.

Many members of the Senate and House Armed Services committees devoted their time to questions about Milley’s interviews with Bob Woodward (NASDAQ:) and other authors rather than to the 20-year U.S. involvement in Afghanistan, and its chaotic and deadly end last month.

Many asked Milley why he hadn’t resigned. One suggested that Milley might have been shot if he was in China.

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Cheney, who was the only Republican on a committee looking into the January attack and who also apologized to Milley, while criticizing others for trying to “whitewash” the incident.

Cheney said that the attack was meant to stop constitutionally required counting of electoral votes. Cheney explained that this was the first ever peaceful transfer in national history.

On Jan. 6, a mob of Trump supporters stormed into the Capitol as Mike Pence, then Vice President, and legislators met to confirm that Joe Biden had won the presidential election.

Milley called General Li Zuocheng in China on Jan. 8. This was as Washington began to recover from the devastating assault that left four dead and over 100 officers injured. Staff, journalists and lawmakers fled fearing for their safety. A Capitol Police officer succumbed to his injuries on the following day.

Milley stated that Li was called by him to calm tensions. This was based on intelligence that indicated China was anxious about an attack from the United States.

The riot saw eight Republican senators as well as 139 members of the Armed Service, along with several Armed Service panel members, cast their objections.

Cheney claimed that the U.S. had not performed their duty in many cases.

Cheney said to Milley that any American on this committee could question his loyalty to America, or question his understanding of the Constitution. “Your recognition of and understanding of civilian command is completely unacceptable.”

Cheney stated that he wished to express his regrets for the actions of those on this committee. Cheney said, “And I would like to thank you for being there when many others, even many of those in this room failed to do so.

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