The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has ruled out in an interview broadcast Monday any role for the US military in a possible disputed election.
“We have established a very long 240-year tradition of an apolitical military that does not get involved in domestic politics,” Mark Milley said during an interview with National Public Radio.
“This isn’t the first time that someone has suggested that there might be a contested election,” he said. “And if there is, it’ll be handled appropriately by the courts and by the US Congress. There’s no role for the US military in determining the outcome of a US election. Zero. There is no role there.”
The comments come as US President Donald Trump continues to refrain from committing to a peaceful transfer of power should he lose the US’s Nov. 3 election over so far unsubstantiated claims of voter fraud linked to mail-in voting.
“We’re going to have to see what happens,” the president said upon reporters’ questions during a White House briefing in late September.
Trump is facing daunting prospects for re-election with just over three weeks to go until Election Day. An average of polling compiled by the Real Clear Politics website has him trailing Democratic nominee Joe Biden by 10.6 points nationwide in addition to lagging behind the former vice president in every major battleground state.
Trump was to face Biden on Thursday during a town hall debate, but the event has since been cancelled after the president rejected a virtual format that organizers mandated after he contracted COVID-19.
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