WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Mike Pence on Tuesday criticized his boss-turned-rival, Donald Trump, for calling retired Gen. Mark Milley, the former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, a traitor over phone calls he made to China in the final stormy months of Trump's presidency.
“Frankly what Donald Trump said about him in that tweet, about treason and death, was utterly inexcusable,” Pence said at a national security and foreign policy forum at Washington's Georgetown University.
The GOP candidate also reacted to the news that House Speaker Kevin McCarthy has been ousted from his post, saying, “Chaos is never America's friend.”
The appearance was the first in a series of conversations with 2024 Republican presidential candidates on the topic co-hosted by The Associated Press and Georgetown's Institute of Politics and Public Service.
Trump in a recent social media post lashed out at Milley over the calls, saying Milley committed “an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH! A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act.”
Milley has defended those calls as “routine” and “perfectly within the duties and responsibilities” of his job.
Still, Pence declined to respond to Milley saying in his retirement speech that, “we don't take an oath to a wannabe dictator.”
Pence has positioned himself as a foreign policy hawk in his…