Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, feared that former leader Donald Trump and his allies would attempt a coup or take “other dangerous and illegal action” following the Republican’s defeat in the November 2020 presidential election.
This is stated in the book of The Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year”, dedicated to the last year of Trump in power.
The book, written by Pulitzer Prize winners, WP reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, is due out next week. However, excerpts from it have already been published on the website of the publication.
The authors interviewed more than 140 participants in the events, including senior Trump administration officials, friends, and advisers. Almost all of them talked to journalists on condition of anonymity. Many of them quoted Milley. In the book, he is presented “as a man who tried to protect democracy, because he believed that it was on the verge of collapse.”
Milley and other leaders of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces, one after another, discussed the plan of resignation, reports CNN. The point is that they did not want to comply with the “illegal, dangerous and reckless” demands of the former American leader. It is noted that for the first time in the modern history of the United States, a senior officer, whose role is to advise the president, himself entered into a confrontation with the commander-in-chief, fearing an attempted coup d’état on his part after losing the election.
The book also says that Milley received a warning from an “old friend” that Republican supporters would try to “overthrow the government.” The general, along with other members of the chiefs of staff committee, unofficially discussed various ways to obstruct the ex-president.
According to journalists, Mark Milley’s fears were related, among other things, to personnel reshuffles carried out after the presidential elections. This includes the dismissal of Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, and the appointment of Trump supporters to key posts in the Pentagon. According to the general, these permutations “portended something ominous,” so he always had to be “on the alert.”
“They may try to carry out a coup, but they will definitely not succeed in this,” Milley told his aides. “This cannot be done without the military, the CIA, and the FBI. We’re guys with guns.”
Moreover, Gen. Milley warned his subordinates that Donald Trump was allegedly provoking riots in order to take advantage of the law on suppressing the uprisings by the military. The general viewed the ex-president as “a classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose” and even traced some parallels between Adolf Hitler’s “victim and savior” rhetoric and Trump’s claims of electoral fraud, the authors write. Milli compared the situation in the United States at the time to the burning of the Reichstag in 1933, “which Hitler used as a pretext for establishing a Nazi dictatorship.”
“This is the same moment as at the time with the Reichstag,” the general emphasized.
Meanwhile, after one of the briefings at which the upcoming march of Republican supporters intending to protest the announced election results were discussed, the head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Armed Forces allegedly said that he was seriously concerned about the appearance of the American analog of “brown shirts on the streets.”
Recall that the victory in the 2020 presidential election in the United States was won by the candidate from the Democratic Party, Joe Biden. His opponent, Republican Donald Trump, refused to accept the results of the vote, believing that they were falsified.
On January 6, supporters of the former American leader stormed the building of the US Congress in Washington, interrupting a meeting at which they were supposed to approve the results of the presidential election. As a result of the incident, five people died, among them a participant in a protest rally shot by law enforcement officers and a Capitol police officer. The congressmen were evacuated to safety just minutes before a crowd of protesters bursts into the conference rooms. Biden called the incident a riot and accused Trump of incitement, in the US Congress they called for the impeachment of the Republicans.