Former DNI Ratcliffe Was Not Informed About Milley's Calls to China: 'Unequivocally, That Didn't Take Place'

By Susan Jones | September 16, 2021 | 8:34am EDT
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)
(Photo by SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - Former Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe told Fox News on Wednesday said he did not know about Gen. Mark Milley's calls to Chinese officials on October 30, 2020 and on January 8, 2021. Neither did President Trump.

Milley is under fire from some Republicans following revelations in a new book that he called his Chinese counterparts in the waning days of the Trump presidency to reassure them that the U.S. did not intend to attack China, as some Chinese officials apparently feared. Milley reportedly was motivated by concerns about Trump's state of mind.

Ratcliffe told Fox News's Sean Hannity he would have remembered Milley's calls, particularly the October call:

What has been reported is that on October 30th 2020, which would have been five days before the presidential election, that this call took place between General Milley and one of the Chinese generals that he considered his counterpart.

Now, remember, Sean, five days before the election, I can tell you the intelligence community was focused on making sure that China and other countries were not interfering with that upcoming election, and we had good basis to be concerned about China's actions.

So I can tell you that if at that point in time I had been advised that our chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff at the time that we were defending against China was reaching out to provide reassurance about our conduct here in the United States, I can promise you that I would have remembered that, and it would have prompted a very specific action by me that involved Chairman Milley and President Trump.

So, unequivocally, that didn't take place.

Hannity pressed Ratcliffe, noting that Milley claims his calls were shared with the intelligence community: "Do you have any recollection in any way whatsoever that that information was shared with the intelligence community?" Hannity asked.

"Again, to be clear, the idea that we would have been we would have been giving reassurance to China about our conduct at a point where we were concerned about China's interference in our election and again this first phone call was reported to have taken place on October 30th, 2020, five days before a presidential election, that simply didn't happen," Ratcliffe said.

"I mean, the phone call may have happened, but the idea that that was coordinated and shared -- and again, I was the head of the intelligence community, Sean -- it would have prompted a very specific course of action involving both General Milley and President Trump, because I frankly would have found it to be shocking and inappropriate and frankly unconstitutional.

"And you've now heard the acting secretary of defense, you know, weigh in on this as well and say that, you know, simply there was no order or authority for this as well."

Ratcliffe said "there would be transcripts" of Milley's calls to China, "and I think we should see those."

Preceding Ratcliffe on Hannity's show, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Wednesday night he has "no recollection" of being told about Milley's calls to China. "I hope this didn't happen the way it's described in Woodward's book," Pompeo said. "I can only say that we need to get to the bottom of this just as quickly as possible."

Ratcliffe said he agrees with Pompeo about the need to "look specifically at this issue."

"And so, you know, unfortunately, that's what needs to be looked at here because what has been outlined by this reporting -- and again it needs to be verified -- but he put a spokesperson out today to at least verify some of it, very clearly runs a foul of the Constitution and a unitary executive," Ratcliffe said.

"And if that is the case, then you know, I didn't think things could get worse for General Milley, than when he ignored the intelligence on the ground that resulted in the tragic deaths of Americans in Afghanistan and the most humiliating degrading surrender and defeat that our military has suffered in our lifetime. But it is getting worse for him, based on the reporting."

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