• "I should not have been there."
• Milley said his presence "created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics."
America's top general said that showing up in combat fatigues with impeached President Donald Trump after a violent dispersal of protesters outside the White House last week was a "mistake."
General Mark Milley is Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He said he was "outraged" by the killing of George Floyd, and the protests speak to "centuries of injustice toward African Americans."
"As senior leaders, everything you do will be closely watched. And I am not immune. As many of you saw, the result of the photograph of me at Lafayette Square last week. That sparked a national debate about the role of the military in civil society," Milley, said in a pre-recorded speech to a group of graduates from the National Defense University released Thursday.
"I should not have been there. My presence in that moment and in that environment created a perception of the military involved in domestic politics. As a commissioned uniformed officer, it was a mistake that I have learned from, and I sincerely hope we all can learn from it," he added.
"I am outraged by the senseless and brutal killing of George Floyd. His death amplified the pain, the frustration, and the fear that so many of our fellow Americans live with day in, day out," added Milley, in the speech.
"The protests that have ensued not only speak to his killing, but also to the centuries of injustice toward African Americans," he added, saying "we should all be proud that the vast majority of protests have been peaceful."
PHOTO: Army Gen. Mark A. Milley takes oath as 20th Chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff, photo by Jim Garamone | Defense.gov | Oct. 1, 2019