Top U.S. Gen. Mark Milley feared Trump would strive a coup after his loss to Biden, new e-book says
U.S. President Donald Trump and Gen. Mark Milley, Chief of Staff of the United States Army, talk on the 119th Army-Navy soccer sport at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, December 8, 2018.
Jim Young | Reuters
Top-ranking Army Gen. Mark Milley feared within the wake of the 2020 election that then-President Donald Trump or his allies may strive an army coup to stick in energy, consistent with a brand new e-book from two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists.
Trump on Thursday denied discussing staging a coup to stick in energy however added that if he had been to degree a coup, he would not wish to do it with Milley.
Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, started informally strategizing within the ultimate months of Trump’s one time period in place of business about methods to guard in opposition to such an strive by means of Trump or the ones round him, consistent with “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year,” which comes out subsequent week.
But Trump, in a long, insult-laden remark lashing out at Milley over a number of grievances, mentioned he “never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.”
“If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley,” Trump mentioned within the remark, which was once despatched via his political motion committee.
Trump blasted Milley for apologizing after taking part within the president’s June 2020 photo-op at St. John’s Church in Washington, which was once preceded by means of police forcefully clearing protesters in Lafayette Square.
“I saw at that moment he had no courage or skill, certainly not the type of person I would be talking ‘coup’ with,” Trump’s remark mentioned, ahead of including, “I’m not into coups!”
A spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff didn’t straight away reply to CNBC’s request for remark.
The e-book from Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker portrays Milley seeing himself within the ultimate months of Trump’s presidency as some of the few ultimate officers within the crumbling management nonetheless protecting army and executive-branch establishments.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f—— succeed,” Milley mentioned of a conceivable executive takeover in dialog along with his closest deputies, consistent with the e-book.
“You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns,” he mentioned.
The normal, having listened to Trump unfold an array of baseless conspiracy theories and false claims of fraud right through the overall weeks of his time period, had drawn parallels with the upward thrust of nazism in twentieth century Germany, the e-book mentioned.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley instructed aides in early January, consistent with the e-book. “The gospel of the Fuhrer.”
The reporters say the e-book is in response to loads of hours of interviews with greater than 140 resources, maximum of whom agreed to talk candidly at the situation of anonymity. The authors say in addition they interviewed Trump at the file for two hours.
Leonnig and Rucker describe Milley as being shaken after a Nov. 10 telephone name with an previous good friend, who warned him, “What they’re trying to do here is overturn the government.”
“This is all real, man. You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff,” the good friend instructed Milley, who later shared the change along with his aides, the e-book says.
Milley then reached out to former Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s nationwide safety consultant from 2017 to 2018. “What the f— am I dealing with?” Milley requested, consistent with the e-book.
“You’re dealing with some of the weirdest s— ever,” McMaster reportedly responded.
Trump refused to concede the 2020 race to now-President Joe Biden. He falsely attempted to assert victory on Nov. 4, whilst vote tallies had been nonetheless pouring in. In the weeks after the election, Trump and his allies filed dozens of complaints to take a look at to opposite the end result of the race.
While Trump and his surrogates vocally asserted that common fraud had rigged the election, few of the complaints tried to make that argument to a real pass judgement on. None of the complaints succeeded in reversing Biden’s win in key states.
Trump’s defiance, blended with the late-hour set up of loyalists at best roles within the executive, had best Pentagon officers involved that the president may well be persuaded to take “rash military action,” the e-book says. The Pentagon brass pondered movements “such as launching a missile strike, withdrawing U.S. forces precipitously from Afghanistan, or even deploying troops in some way related to the election dispute,” consistent with the e-book.
Ahead of Jan. 6, when a joint consultation of Congress was once scheduled to substantiate Biden’s victory, Milley reportedly expressed worry about how Trump was once selling a marketing campaign rally-style tournament close by.
“Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military,” the e-book says.
On Jan. 6, a mob of Trump’s supporters, a lot of whom had collected for the president’s fiery speech outdoor the White House, invaded the Capitol, vandalizing the halls of presidency and forcing a joint consultation of Congress into hiding.
After the fatal invasion, Milley stressed out that “come hell or high water, there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January twentieth,” one senior respectable mentioned within the e-book. “We’ve got an aircraft, our landing gear is stuck, we’ve got one engine, and we’re out of fuel. We’ve got to land this bad boy.”
Milley, main a Jan. 14 army drill upfront of Biden’s inauguration, reportedly mentioned, “Here’s the deal, guys: These guys are Nazis, they’re Boogaloo Boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II.”
“Everyone in this room, whether you’re a cop, whether you’re a soldier, we’re going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power. We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in,” Milley mentioned, consistent with the e-book.