One of the Senate's most outspoken Republicans found himself being put firmly in place after suggesting the nation's top military officer was being dishonest about his advisory role in the the bungled withdrawal of U.S. forces in Afghanistan and should have resigned.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley was forced to school Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton, a former Army officer himself who has repeatedly misrepresented his own service record, on how the military works, and it's left critics of the Senator cheering.
See the moment below.
Cotton's question came during yesterday's Senate Armed Services Committee hearing about the U.S. military withdrawal from Afghanistan, during which General Milley revealed he had advised Democratic President Joe Biden and his administration against the pull-out of troops from Afghanistan and urged them to extend the deadline for withdrawal.
Cotton then asked Milley why he didn't resign after Biden refused to listen to his advice, and worded his question in a way that subtly accused Milley of lying.
"If all this is true, General Milley, why haven't you resigned?"
Milley then calmly schooled the former Army officer on how the military actually works.
"...[R]esigning is a really serious thing. It's a political act if I'm resigning in protest."
"My job is to provide... the best military advice to the President. That's my legal requirement. That's what the law is."
"The President doesn't have to agree with that advice. He doesn't have to make those decisions just because we're generals."
Milley then clarified his resignation would be a deeply inappropriate act that would politicize a military leadership position meant to be apolitical.
"It would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign because my advice isn't taken. This country doesn't want generals figuring out what orders we're going to accept and do or not."
"...It would be an incredible act of political defiance for a commissioned officer to just resign..."
Cotton has repeatedly lied about his own military service, claiming to have been a member of the Army Rangers, the branch's elite special forces.
Though Cotton attended the U.S. Army's Ranger School, he never served with the elite force and has been criticized by military members of both parties for his false claims.