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Pence national security advisor: Milley comments on imagined Trump plot 'seditious,' if true

If Joint Chiefs chairman's implied threat to intervene against Trump "with the guys with the guns" is accurately reported, then "he has violated his oath of office" and "he should go," said retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg.

Updated: July 19, 2021 - 11:10pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

If remarks attributed to Gen. Mark Milley are true, the four-star chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff committed sedition, according to retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who served as national security advisor to Vice President Mike Pence during the Trump administration.

"I think he has violated his oath of office," Kellogg said of Milley. "I think he should go." 

Kellogg made the observation while appearing on the John Solomon Reports podcast. A wartime infantry commander, Kellogg served in a number of key national security roles in the Trump White House, including chief of staff of the National Security Council.

Kellogg on the podcast elaborated on his Friday tweets about comments attributed to Milley in a newly released book, "I Alone Can Fix It," by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

The book reports that Milley feared Trump would attempt to stage a coup in order to remain in the White House past Jan. 20, when Joe Biden was inaugurated as president.

"They may try, but they're not going to f------ succeed," Milley told his deputies while discussing the possibility of a coup, according to the book. "You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns."

If quoted accurately, the remarks violate the Uniform Code of Military Justice, Kellogg wrote Jan. 16 on Twitter.

"If true, Mark Milley’s comments are seditious," he wrote.

Kellogg elaborated on the tweets while being questioned on the podcast by Solomon.

"I really believe in civilian control of the military," Kellogg said. "I think it's essential. I think it's a bedrock of our Constitution and where we go, and my point was, if true, and what Mark said is true, then I think he violated his oath of office."

As chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Milley has no command role, and is not authorized to inject himself into the military chain of command, Kellogg said.  

"There's a Uniform Code of Military Justice article, Article 94, which is actually mutiny and sedition. And look at that, and I said, you had violated your oath of office," Kellogg said.

The retired three-star Kellogg denounced the suggestion that Trump wanted to stage a coup.

"I was with the President on sixth January," Kellogg said. "I was with the president for 1,461 days. He never did anything that I thought was egregious enough that even came close to supporting what Mark Milley said."

Because of that and other comments about Trump's supporters, Kellogg said, Milley should leave office.

Kellogg's entire range of comments about Milley and other issues can be heard on the July 20 podcast.