Republican Senator Marco Rubio called on President Joe Biden, a Democrat, to immediately fire Milley.
“I do not need to tell of you the dangers posed by senior military officers leaking classified information on U.S. military operations, but I will underscore that such subversion undermines the President’s ability to negotiate and leverage one of this nation’s instruments of national power in his interactions with foreign nations,” Rubio said in a letter to Biden.
Asked about the Washington Post report, White House spokesperson Karine Jean-Pierre declined to comment and referred questions to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Defense Department.
Trump, a Republican, named Milley to the top military post in 2018 but began criticizing him, as well as other appointees and former staffers, after losing the presidential election to Biden in November 2020.
The Washington Post reported that Milley was motivated to contact Beijing the second time in part due to a Jan. 8 call with U.S. House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who had asked the general what safeguards were in place to prevent an “unstable president” from launching a nuclear strike.