US Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley feared former President Donald Trump might start a war with China after his failed reelection bid that he called his Chinese counterpart to assure Beijing an attack from the United States was not imminent, the Washington Post reported on Tuesday citing an upcoming book by the newspaper’s Associate Editor Bob Woodward and reporter Robert Costa.
The US intelligence community determined Beijing was nervous the United States was preparing an attack following rising tensions over military exercises in the South China Sea and Trump’s hostile talk toward China, the report said citing the upcoming book “Peril.”
The report said Milley made two phone calls on his own to his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng to ease tensions. The first call took place on October 30, 2020 and the second on January 8, two days after pro-Trump supporters temporarily seized the Capitol, the report said.
CIA Director Gina Haspel warned Milley ahead of time that the United States was about to face a right-wing coup, the report said.
After the January 6 event, Milley told his senior staff that the Capitol riot may be a precursor to something far worse down the road, the report added.
Woodward and Costa conducted more than 200 interviews with officials on the condition of anonymity, according to the report.