Donald Trump made political waves weeks ago when he blasted peaceful protesters with tear gas so he could take a photo in front of St. John’s Episcopal Church. Joining him for the walk were White House figures like Mark Meadows and Kayleigh McEnany. Also there were top military officials Mark Esper and Mark Milley.
All of the participants in the stunt were universally condemned for their actions. On Thursday, General Milley apologized for his part in the photo op.
Milley made the comments during a commencement address to National Defense University. “I should not have been there,” he told the graduates. “My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.”
Chmn of Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley in pre-recorded speech to grads from National Defense Univ. on Lafayette Square: “I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics”
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) June 11, 2020
The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff then lamented, “the senseless and brutal killing of George Floyd.” He then said, “As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from.”
Mark Esper, who serves as Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense, also regretted his role in the incident. He told NBC News, “I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops. I didn’t know where I was going.”
The White House has yet to comment on Milley’s apology.
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Todd Neikirk is a New Jersey-based politics and technology writer. His work has been featured in psfk.com, foxsports.com, and PoliticusUSA. An avid pet lover, he has been known to contribute to Pet Lifestyles Magazine. He enjoys sports, politics, technology, and spending time at the shore with his family.