US President Donald Trump speaks as Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Army Gen. Mark Milley looks on after getting a briefing from senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House on October 7, 2019.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
On Friday, former Army General Mark Milley retired from leading the US military.
Milley finished his four-year term as the Joint Chiefs of Staff, which included two years under Trump.
The two often disagreed, and Milley made it clear what he thought of Trump’s legacy.
At a retirement ceremony for former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, the Army general offered some parting words seemingly aimed at former President Donald Trump.
Milley finished his four-year term as the chairman, which included serving two years under Trump’s presidency. The two often butted heads and Milley made it clear — without mentioning Trump by name — that he still fundamentally disagreed with Trump, whom he has previously called a threat to democracy.
“We don’t take an oath to a king or a queen or to a tyrant or a dictator. And we don’t take an oath to a wannabe dictator,” Milley said on Friday, according to the Associated Press. “We don’t take an oath to an individual. We take an oath to the Constitution, and we take an oath to the idea that is America, and we’re willing to die to protect it.”
Milley spoke with a booming voice at times throughout his speech, adding that the military takes an oath to honor the constitution “against ALL enemies, foreign AND domestic.”
US President Joe Biden also spoke at the event.
During his tenure under Trump, Milley stood against Trump’s plan to place US armed forces on the streets of Washington, DC, as racial justice protests related to George Floyd’s death spread in the summer of 2020.
Milley also clashed with Trump’s decision to pull US troops from Iraq and Syria between 2020 and 2021, according to the AP.
Just last week, Trump lashed out at Milley on Truth Social, calling him a “woke train wreck,” saying that his retirement was “a time for all citizens of the USA to celebrate.”
Trump added that had Milley served in the past and held the same legacy, “the punishment would have been DEATH!”
Following the posts Milley responded telling CBS News’ “60 Minutes” that the comments don’t just affect him but the whole US Military: “As much as these comments are directed at me, it’s also directed at the institution of the military. And there’s 2.1 million of us in uniform.”
In the speech, Milley also appeared to respond to Trump’s latest threat, speaking collectively for the military.
“We are not easily intimidated,” Milley said on Monday.