Biden says he has 'great confidence' in Gen. Mark Milley after new reports
(CNN) President Joe Biden said Wednesday he has "great confidence" in Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley's leadership after being asked about assertions leveled in a new book about Milley's actions in the aftermath of the January 6 attack on the US Capitol.
"Peril" discusses Milley's actions in regards to a military action or a nuclear strike, in which Milley told subordinates that he must be directly involved in any discussion.
When asked about the report by reporters Wednesday afternoon, Biden said, "I have great confidence in General Milley."
The book's reporting has sparked criticism from Florida Republican Sen. Marco Rubio, who called on Biden to dismiss Milley, and former National Security Council official Alexander Vindman, who called on Milley to resign if the allegations in the book were true.
Earlier on Wednesday, White House press secretary Jen Psaki stated Biden has "complete confidence" in Milley.
"I'm not going to add more -- speak to anonymous unconfirmed reports about conversations with limited context from here.
And the President has complete confidence in his leadership, his patriotism and his fidelity to our Constitution," Psaki told reporters Wednesday, later describing Milley as a "man of honor."
Milley will testify before the Senate Armed Services Committee later this month, where questions over his actions during this time are likely to come up.
Milley "regularly communicates" with his counterparts around the world, including with China and Russia, his spokesman, Col. Dave Butler, said in a statement.
"These conversations remain vital to improving mutual understanding of U.S. national security interests, reducing tensions, providing clarity and avoiding unintended consequences or conflict," said Butler.
Pressed repeatedly on whether Biden felt Milley was acting in the national interest and whether Biden had any concerns as to whether Milley worked outside the chain of command, Psaki declined to say.
"It's the obligation of every chairman of the Joint Chiefs to follow constitutional orders to prevent unlawful military action.