A Republican candidate for the House of Representatives has suggested that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should face a court-martial and be executed on live television if found guilty.
Noah Malgeri, a GOP candidate from Nevada with a law degree from George Washington University, made the comments about Gen Mark Milley in a Facebook Live interview with Veterans in Politics, a right-leaning organisation whose website displays members of the right-wing Oath Keepers militia group posing on its homepage. Mr Malgeri himself is a US Army veteran.
“We don’t need a congressional commission to investigate the crimes of Mark Milley, all the evidence is out there,” Mr Malgeri says in one part of the interview. “He’s an active duty soldier. Just convene a court-martial, and forget it.”
“We need to get back to our patriotic, liberty-loving roots. What did they used to do to traitors if they were convicted by a court? They would execute them. That’s still the law in the United States of America. I think, you know, if he’s guilty of it by a court-martial, they should hang him on CNN. I mean, they’re not going to do it on CNN. But on C-SPAN or something,” he continued.
At issue for Republicans is Gen Milley’s 2020 phone call with a top counterpart in the Chinese military chain of command, during which Gen Milley reassured the Chinese general that the Trump administration was not going to attack China. His call came in the days following the chaotic 2020 election, as former President Donald Trump was alleging widespread fraud in the election without proof. Chinese officials, Gen Milley claimed, were concerned that the former president’s erratic behaviour could result in the US launching a military strike against China, whose government Mr Trump frequently criticised.
The call was first reported by Washington Post reporter Bob Woodward in Peril, his final book about the Trump administration.
Mr Malgeri’s comments go beyond that of Republicans already in Congress, but not far. Sen Marco Rubio, who sits on the Intelligence and Foreign Relations committees, referred to Mr Milley’s phone call as “treasonous” in a statement urging him to resign, and in lieu of that demanded that President Joe Biden fire him. He stopped short of calling for criminal action.
“General Milley has attempted to rationalize his reckless behavior by arguing that what he perceived as the military’s judgment as more stable than its civilian commander,” Mr Rubio said in September. “It is a dangerous precedent that could be asserted at any point in the future by General Milley or others. It threatens to tear apart our nation’s longstanding principle of civilian control of the military.”
“You must immediately dismiss General Milley. America’s national security and ability to lead in the world are at stake,” Mr Rubio added.
Mr Malgeri is one of several declared candidates for the Republican primary in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district. The district leans Republican, but barely, and is currently represented by a Democrat, Rep Susie Lee.
He faces an uphill battle in the GOP primary; one of his opponents, April Becker, is endorsed by a member of Republican leadership in the House, Rep Elise Stefanik.