Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Mark Milley recorded a short video that aired soon after the General appeared at a church with President Donald Trump that had just been cleared of protestors. In the video, he called his presence at the church “a mistake.”

Milley and Defense Secretary Mark Esper had joined the president to pay a surprise visit to the historic Saint John’s Episcopal Church in Lafayette Square, during which the President held up a Bible for photographers. Milley appeared conspicuous as a portly lone figure in camouflage fatigues shortly thereafter with the President at the church. This reinforced the assumption that the Pentagon was in charge. 

Just minutes before his appearance at the church, President Trump gave a speech at the White House denouncing “acts of domestic terror.” He also stated that the United States was in the grips of professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, and criminals.

It was during this time that the church, just a few blocks from the White House, was being cleared off protestors by the police.