WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation's top military officer says it was a mistake for him to have been in Lafayette Square with President Donald Trump last week.
Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, says his presence “created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics.” He called it “a mistake” that he has learned from.
Milley made the comments during a virtual graduation ceremony for National Defense University on Thursday.
“As many of you saw, the result of the photograph of me at Lafayette Square last week, sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society,” he said. “I should not have been there.”
Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper walked from the White House to Lafayette Square with Trump and others on June 1 amid street protests, and the president posed for photographers holding up a Bible in front of St. John's Episcopal Church.