US Chief of Staff Mark Milley said he regretted showing up with Donald Trump after anti-racism protests erupted, a sign that the divide was widening between the Pentagon and the president.
“I shouldn’t have been there,” said General Milley. While the United States has been under fire since George Floyd’s death, the head of the U.S. General Staff has publicly regretted appearing with Donald Trump, following an anti-racism demonstration near the White House on 1yourJune.
The demonstration is spread to have the president photographed, the Bible in hand, near a church degraded the day before by the protesters. General Milley then showed up with the president and the images that showed him in camouflage with Donald Trump were immediately used by the White House in a video of choice.
“My presence at that time and in those circumstances gave the impression that the military interfered with internal politics,” added the highest ranking US officer. “It was a mistake I learned from and I really hope we can all learn from it,” he said, looking serious. “We must respect the principle of an apolitical army, which is deeply rooted in the quintessence of our republic.”
Former military officials, including former Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, were touched by what they believed was a military politicization.
“I had never imagined that soldiers who take the same oath could, no matter the circumstances, violate their citizens’ constitutional rights – and even less to allow the elected chief of staff to pose for a photo, absurd, with the military leaders at their side”, the Marine’s former general had written in the columns of The Atlantic.
The White House strongly defended the photo of Donald Trump outside the church, evoking his desire to “send a strong message” and even compare him to British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during World War II.
Defense dissociates from Donald Trump
But this section seems to have caused a consciousness in the military hierarchy. The defense minister publicly abolished the president on June 3.
“I’m not for declaring a state of rebellion,” says Mark Esper. He had also expressed regret. “I do everything I can to remain apolitical and to avoid situations that may seem political. Sometimes I get there, other times I don’t.”
Mark Esper and Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy also said this week “open for discussion” about changing the names of 10 military bases named after the Confederate Civil War generals (1961- 1865) who were for slavery. They were immediately cut off by the president, who in a series of tweets categorically opposed the idea.