Alarmed by President Donald Trump’s threat last week to use military force against protesting Americans, Rep. Ruben Gallego (D-AZ) asked Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a 10-word question.
“General Milley: Do you intend to obey illegal orders from the President?” Gallego, a three-term Arizona Democrat and former Marine, wrote in a brief letter Tuesday.
Gallego tweeted a picture on Monday of Gen. Milley’s one-paragraph response.
“My bottom line response to the question in your June 1, 2020 letter is ‘absolutely not,’” Milley wrote.
“I testified at my Senate confirmation hearing that any soldier, sailor, airman or marine, regardless of rank, including myself, will not obey an illegal order,” the letter read. “I have personally abided by this standard since my commissioning 40 years ago — and I will not change now.”
American servicemembers must never obey an illegal order. Presidents should know not to issue them. pic.twitter.com/FEeJyLfPhX
— Ruben Gallego (@RepRubenGallego) June 8, 2020
Gallego’s letter was prompted by Trump’s threat last week to deploy the military to help law enforcement across the country “dominate the streets.” In a short address from the White House, Trump called the looting and violence “acts of domestic terror.”
Trump also named Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to head the White House response.