Defense Secretary Mark Esper reportedly took the lead in Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s effort to comfort the Chinese government amid January’s unrest in Washington, D.C.
A senior defense official confirmed the allegation, according to Washington Post columnist Josh Rogin, who wrote on Twitter on Wednesday, “Milley was absolutely not going rogue. Esper took the initiative on this in October. Esper asked his own policy folks to backchannel the message. Milley’s message followed Esper’s.”
Chinese officials reportedly began to suspect the United States was planning a surprise attack on their country in October 2020. The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward and Robert Costa that Milley called his Chinese counterpart in January when unrest broke