According to excerpts of an upcoming book from two Washington Post reporters, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, was so shaken that then-President Donald Trump and his allies might attempt a coup or take other dangerous or illegal measures after the November election that Milley and other top officials informally planned for different ways to stop Trump.
The book written by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker comes out next week and is titled, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”
The authors say the book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 140 sources, most of whom agreed to speak candidly on the condition of anonymity and that they also interviewed Trump on the record for 2½ hours.
Trump vehemently denied the claims in a statement released today, explaining that he “never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.”
“Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of ‘coup’, and 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 continued.
Many on the left have been attempting to spin that part of the statement to suggest that Trump was admitting that he would attempt a coup.
Trump went on to slam Milley for the situation that occurred after the two walked to St. John’s Church after its burning where Milley apologized for the optics.
Ultimately, Trump reiterated, “I’m not into coups!”
"Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup', and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley." – President Donald J. Trump— Liz Harrington (@realLizUSA) July 15, 2021
It is interesting that this information comes out at this exact time because President Joe Biden is currently under scrutiny for using what he denied to be hyperbole in a speech he gave in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on Tuesday.
During that speech, Biden forcefully condemned the wave of election integrity laws recently passed in red states, calling the laws an “assault” on the right to vote and the “most significant threat” to the U.S. since the Civil War.
Biden claimed that there is “an unfolding assault taking place in America today, an attempt to suppress and subvert the right to vote.”
“We’re facing the most significant test of our democracy since the Civil War. That’s not hyperbole, since the Civil War,” Biden added and the revelations from this book is sure to give him extra fuel to add to his claims.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f—— succeed,” Milley said of a possible government takeover in conversation with his closest deputies, according to the 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 said.
The general, having listened to Trump spread an array of baseless conspiracy theories and false claims of fraud throughout the final weeks of his term, had drawn parallels with the rise of nazism in 20th century Germany, the book said.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides in early January, according to the book. “The gospel of the Fuhrer.”
The journalists say the book is based on hundreds of hours of interviews with more than 140 sources, most of whom agreed to speak candidly on the condition of anonymity. The authors say they also interviewed Trump on the record for 2½ hours.
Leonnig and Rucker describe Milley as being shaken after a Nov. 10 phone call with an old 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 friend told Milley, who later shared the exchange with his aides, the book says.
Milley then reached out to former Gen. H.R. McMaster, Trump’s national security advisor from 2017 to 2018. “What the f— am I dealing with?” Milley asked, according to the book.
“You’re dealing with some of the weirdest s— ever,” McMaster reportedly replied.
Trump refused to concede the 2020 race to now-President Joe Biden. He falsely tried to claim victory on Nov. 4, even as vote tallies were still pouring in. In the weeks after the election, Trump and his allies filed dozens of lawsuits to try to reverse the outcome of the race.
While Trump and his surrogates vocally asserted that widespread fraud had rigged the election, few of the lawsuits attempted to make that argument to an actual judge. None of the lawsuits succeeded in reversing Biden’s win in key states.
Trump’s defiance, combined with the late-hour installation of loyalists at top roles in the government, had top Pentagon officials concerned that the president could be persuaded to take “rash military action,” the book says. The Pentagon brass contemplated actions “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,” according to the book.
Ahead of Jan. 6, when a joint session of Congress was scheduled to confirm Biden’s victory, Milley reportedly expressed concern about how Trump was promoting a campaign rally-style event nearby.
“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 book says.
On Jan. 6, a mob of Trump’s supporters, many of whom had gathered for the president’s fiery speech outside the White House, invaded the Capitol, vandalizing the halls of government and forcing a joint session of Congress into hiding.
After the deadly invasion, Milley stressed that “come hell or high water, there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January twentieth,” one senior official said in the 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, leading a Jan. 14 military drill in advance of Biden’s inauguration, reportedly said, “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 said, according to the book.
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