Top U.S. general regrets joining Trump church walk during protests
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. military officer on Thursday said he should not have joined President Donald Trump as he walked from the White House to a nearby church for a photo opportunity after authorities cleared the way of protesters using tear gas and rubber bullets.
“I should not have been there,” Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley said of his appearance at the politically charged event on June 1.
“My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics,” he said in a prerecorded video commencement address to the National Defense University.
Milley’s remarks followed a rare outpouring of condemnation from retired U.S. generals and even former defense secretary Jim Mattis for taking part in the event, given that the U.S. military is meant to be apolitical and is sworn to defend the U.S. constitution, which protects the right to peaceful protest.