Mark Milley has taken “safety precautions” after the former president suggested that his conduct was treasonous US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley participates in a press briefing earlier this month in Germany. © Getty Images / Sean Gallup

US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley has implemented extra security measures for himself and his family after being criticized by former President Donald Trump in a statement that legacy media outlets characterized as a “death threat.”

Milley acknowledged fears for his safety in a CBS News interview that aired on Wednesday. Trump, who has long feuded with his former top military adviser, suggested in a Truth Social post on Friday that Milley had committed treason when he placed secret calls to his Chinese counterpart about the then-president’s military intentions during his last few months in office. “This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been death,” Trump said.

Asked whether he feared for his safety in the wake of the former commander-in-chief’s rebuke, Milley said, “I’ve got adequate safety precautions. I wish those comments had not been made, but they were, and we will take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family.”

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Milley, who will end his term as America’s top-ranking general on Friday, argued that Trump’s criticism of him disrespected all members of the US armed forces. “As much as these comments are directed at me, it’s also directed at the institution of the military,” he said. “And there is 2.1 million of us in uniform, and the American people can take it to the bank that all of us — every single one of us, from private to general — are loyal to that Constitution and will never turn our back on it no matter what.”

With Milley set to retire at the end of this week, he has been the subject of multiple media profiles and interviews in recent days, largely to rehash his clashes with Trump. The general told The Atlantic in a profile published last week that Trump will be looking for vengeance if he’s elected president again in 2024. “He’ll start throwing people in jail, and I’d be on the top of the list.”

Milley has repeatedly defended his calls to China behind Trump’s back, arguing that he never tried to circumvent the president’s authority. He reportedly spoke to Chinese General Li Zuocheng and other foreign military leaders to help allay fears that Trump might try to spark a war as his term wound down. He also assured then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that safeguards were in place to prevent Trump from launching a nuclear attack. (RT)