(NBC News) — Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley took steps to prevent then-President Donald Trump from misusing the country’s nuclear arsenal during the last month of his presidency, according to a new book by The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa obtained by NBC News.
Their book, “Peril,” said that in the days before the 2020 election, Milley also acted to prevent a potential conflict with China. The book said Milley received intelligence that Chinese officials believed the U.S. was getting ready to attack them. To defuse tensions, Milley called the head of China’s military, Gen. Li Zuocheng, and told him the “American government is stable” and “we are not going to attack.”
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley is quoted as saying.
“We’re not going to have a fight,” Milley told him, according to the book.
Li replied, “Okay.”
“I take you at your word,” Li said.