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Trump doubts report of Milley calling Chinese general but says it's 'treason' if true
Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday expressed skepticism regarding the report that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley went behind his back to call Chinese officials but said such an action was treasonous if true.
Washington Post associate editor Bob Woodward and national political reporter Robert Costa alleged in their upcoming book "Peril" that Milley made two secret phone calls to Gen. Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, his Chinese counterpart.
Milley reportedly made the calls before the 2020 presidential election on Oct. 30, 2020, and two days after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot, on Jan. 8, 2021, and assured Zuocheng of the stability of the American government. He also allegedly assured the Chinese general that he would contact him regarding any imminent attack from the U.S. in the waning days of Trump's presidency.
"So, first of all, if it is actually true, which is hard to believe, that he would have called China and done these things and was willing to advise them of an attack or in advance of an attack, that's treason," Trump told host Sean Spicer on NewsmaxTV's "Spicer & Co."
"I've had so many calls today saying that's treason, number one," Trump continued. Acknowledging he was tough on China regarding trade and COVID-19, he went on to describe as "totally ridiculous" the idea that he would order an attack on China.
In a statement released shortly after the interview, Trump called on Milley to step aside, floating a theory that Milley came up with the story himself and leaked it to Woodward and Costa, whom he described as writers of "fiction, not fact." CLICK HERE FOR MORE ON OUR TOP STORY.
In other developments:
- Retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman says Gen. Milley 'must resign' if his secret calls with China occurred
- Mark Milley's alleged China call 'violated the law', retired colonel says; 'He has no statutory authority'
- Rubio calls on Biden to fire Milley after book claims general sought to undermine Trump
- Tucker Carlson: Mark Milley committed treason, and others were implicated
- Hannity: Milley should be 'tried for treason' if bombshell report proves to be true
California Gov. Gavin Newsom survives recall election
California Gov. Gavin Newsom will keep his job steering the nation's most populous state.
The Associated Press projected that a majority of Californians voted against removing Newsom from office in Tuesday's recall election of the embattled first-term Democratic governor.
Newsom, a former mayor of San Francisco who was overwhelmingly elected governor in 2018 in the heavily blue state, was facing a recall drive sparked last year mainly over accusations that he mishandled his state’s response to the coronavirus, the worst pandemic to strike the globe in a century.
Ballots were mailed last month to California’s estimated 22 million registered voters and needed to be postmarked or handed in by the time the polls closed, at 8 p.m. PT. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
In other developments:
- Newsom recall defense gets business donor boost
- Newsom gets graded by San Francisco residents
- Silicon Valley split on California recall election
- Mike Piazza's video pitch for Larry Elder fails to sway California voters to oust Newsom in recall election
Alex Murdaugh shooting: South Carolina police say attack on lawyer was botched hit in life insurance plot
South Carolina police have arrested a man who allegedly conspired with Alex Murdaugh, a high-profile attorney whose wife and son were murdered in a double shooting in June, to shoot and kill him in a plot to garner millions in life insurance payouts to his son.
"Agents of the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Tuesday arrested a Colleton County man in connection with the shooting incident involving Alex Murdaugh on Sept. 4 in Hampton County," South Carolina Law Enforcement Division spokesman Tommy Crosby said in a statement.
Curtis Edward Smith, 61, faces charges of assisted suicide, assault and battery, pointing and presenting a firearm, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud in connection with the case, according to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.
Investigators said they have probable cause to believe Murdaugh set up the plot himself – but survived the shooting attempt with a superficial wound to the head, according to a SLED affidavit.
"Richard Alex Murdaugh conspired with Curtis Edward Smith in the area of Old Salkehatchie Road, for the purpose of Mr. Smith assisting Mr. Murdaugh to commit suicide," the affidavit alleges. "Mr. Murdaugh provided Mr. Smith with a firearm and directed Mr. Smith to shoot him in the head for the purpose of causing Mr. Murdaugh's death and allowing for the payment of a stated death benefit."
If the plot succeeded, Murdaugh's surviving son, Buster Murdaugh, could have collected on his father's $10 million life insurance policy, police said. CLICK HERE FOR MORE.
In other developments:
- South Carolina police investigating whether Alex Murdaugh misappropriated funds from former law firm
- Florida sheriff praises K9s shot during arrest: took bullets meant for deputies
- 4 Minnesota adults found dead inside SUV in Wisconsin cornfield: 'It's highly unusual'
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- North Korea fires 2 ballistic missiles; Japan's Suga rips test as 'absolutely outrageous'
- Texas abortion law: Biden's DOJ asks judge to intervene
- California couple dies from COVID-19 complications, leaving behind newborn and 4 other kids
- Sen. Risch: Biden administration is 'delusional' on Afghanistan and 'out of step with the American people'
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SOME PARTING WORDS
Laura Ingraham said Tuesday night that while Democrats erupted over what they termed the Jan. 6 Capitol "insurrection," U.S. Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was quietly orchestrating a similar plan – behind the back of former President Donald Trump.
"Today we learned the truth," the host of "The Ingraham Angle" told viewers. "There was indeed an insurrection being played in Washington, but it took place at the Pentagon. And the chief architect was Gen. Mark Milley."
She then suggested Milley made two secret phone calls to China's Gen. Li Zuocheng in the waning days of Trump's presidency – without Trump's knowledge.
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Fox News First was compiled by Fox News' Jack Durschlag. Thank you for making us your first choice in the morning! We’ll see you in your inbox first thing Thursday.