On Tuesday, three military leaders – U.S. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley, and Central Command head General Frank McKenzie – responded to questions from senators about the disastrous U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan ordered by President Joe Biden.
On Wednesday, the same three men appeared before the House Armed Services Committee. During Q&A in the House, Congressman Matt Gaetz (R-Florida) launched into Milley, accusing him of spending an inappropriate amount of time talking with author Bob Woodward for a book highly critical of Donald Trump (see video below).
Gaetz: "You spent more time with Bob Woodward on this book than you spent analyzing the very likely prospect that the Afghanistan government was going to fall immediately to the Taliban, didn't you?
Milley: "Not even close, Congressman."
Gaetz: "Oh, really? Because you said right after Kabul fell that no one could have anticipated the immediate fall of the Ghani government. When did you become aware that Joe Biden tried to get Ghani to lie about the conditions in Afghanistan?"
After directing his questions to Secretary Austin for a minute or so, Gaetz returned his attention to Milley, making it clear that there should be accountability for the Afghanistan fiasco.
Gaetz: "You said yesterday that you weren't going to resign when senators asked you this question – and I believe you guys probably won't resign. You seem to be very happy failing up over there.
"But if we didn't have a president that was so addled, you all would be fired … because that is what you deserve. You have let down the people who wear the uniform in my district and all around this country. And you're far more interested in what your perception is and how people think about you in insider Washington books than you care about winning."
Gaetz concluded by saying "winning" is something that trio of men is "incapable" of doing.