Republicans this week confronted Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army Gen. Mark Milley, the nation’s top military officer, on a series of interviews he gave to political book authors that has dragged him into the center of politics despite a tradition of military leaders trying to stay apolitical.
Even before the books were published this year, Milley had found himself in the middle of political debate last June after he walked with then-President Donald Trump across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church as the president sought to show resolve a day after Black Lives Matters protesters almost breached the White House.
Milley later apologized publicly for walking with his commander in chief after the left criticized him for dragging the military into politics by virtue of his being there, despite hundreds of National Guard soldiers mobilized in D.C. and different cities in response to the protests.
“I should not have been there,” he said. “My presence in that moment, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”