Milley taking 'safety precautions' after Trump suggests he's a traitor who deserves death penalty

Retiring Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said he'll take "appropriate measures" for his and his family's safety after former President Donald Trump attacked him and suggested he was a traitor who deserved the death penalty.

In a Truth Social post last week, Trump accused Milley — one of his top military officers — of going behind his back on China at the end of his administration. Milley will leave his job at the end of the month.

"This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!" Trump wrote. "A war between China and the United States could have been the result of this treasonous act." The allegation was a reference to calls Milley made to his Chinese counterpart assuring him the U.S. had no intentions of launching an attack in 2021. Milley has defended those calls, saying he was fulfilling the duties of his office.

Milley responded to Trump's accusations in an interview on "60 Minutes" Wednesday, saying there was nothing treasonous about his calls to his Chinese counterpart. The outgoing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has previously defended his actions saying they were part of his job to deescalate the situation and avoid conflict, adding that Trump officials were made aware of the calls.

"I've got adequate safety precautions," Milley said this week of potential backlash from Trump's post. "I wish those comments had not been made, but they were. And I'll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family."

Contributing: Ken Tran

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Milley taking safety precautions after Trump post on Truth Social