Top US general taking steps to protect family after Trump death comments

FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Biden awards Medal of Honor to Army Captain Larry Taylor during White House ceremony in Washington

(Reuters) - Outgoing U.S. Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley said on Wednesday he would take measures to protect his family after former President Donald Trump suggested he had colluded with China in an act he said would have once warranted death.

Trump last week criticized Milley's handling of the chaotic U.S. withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan in 2020 and said, without providing evidence, that "this guy turned out to be a Woke train wreck who, if the Fake News reporting is correct, was actually dealing with China to give them a heads up on the thinking of the President of the United States."

"This is an act so egregious that, in times gone by, the punishment would have been DEATH!" Trump said on Sept. 22 on his Truth Social platform. Milley assumed the chairman role in October 2019 during Trump's presidency and is set to step down on Sept. 30.

Asked about the comments during an interview on CBS' 60 Minutes, Milley said in a clip released on Wednesday: "I've been faithful and loyal to the constitution of the United States for 44 and a half years."

He added: "I've got adequate safety precautions. I wish those comments had not been made, but they were. And I'll take appropriate measures to ensure my safety and the safety of my family."

(Reporting by Costas Pitas; Editing by Rami Ayyub and Gerry Doyle)