Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley feared Trump would attempt a COUP after losing the election...
...warned of a 'Reichstag moment' and said the then-president was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer’, new book claims
Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly feared then-President Trump would attempt coup after November election
Claim was made in book titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig
In days before riot at US Capitol on January 6, Milley confided to friends that he feared US was approaching 'Reichstag moment,' according to the new book
He reportedly told friends that Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer’ and that he was ginning up his 'brownshirts in the streets'
Milley grew alarmed in the days after the election when Trump fired several senior officials from their posts at the Pentagon and installed loyalists
They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,' Milley told his deputies when discussing possibility they might try a coup
'You can't do this without the military,' Milley is quoted as saying. 'You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns'
The country’s top military officer was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book.
General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his deputies reportedly pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.
'They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,' Milley told his deputies.
'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.'
The dramatic quote excerpted by CNN was revealed in a new book authored by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.
The book is scheduled for release next week.
Days before the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, Milley warned confidantes of a ‘Reichstag moment’ facing the country.
According to the book, his concern stemmed from the fact that Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer.’
Milly referred to Trump supporters at a march to protest the election as ‘brownshirts in the streets.’
In 1933, after Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany, the Nazis used a fire at the Reichstag building, home to Germany’s parliament, as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and consolidate power by claiming the country was under threat from communists.
The brownshirts were Nazi paramilitaries who helped Hitler rise to power.
'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,' Rucker and Leonnig write.
The joint chiefs chairman was especially worried by the fact that Trump purged the Defense Department of those who raised objections to his ideas and replaced them with loyalists after the November election.
Days after the election, Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller.
Other deputies to Esper were also fired and replaced with those who shared the then-president’s views.
In December, Attorney General William Barr resigned after he refused to endorse Trump's claims of rampant voter fraud.
The departures of Barr and Esper left Milley concerned, according to the book.
Milley reportedly told friends that he felt he needed to be ‘on guard’ in anticipation of what might happen.
According to the authors, Milley told associates that he believed Trump was ‘the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose,’ which led to the Hitler comparisons.
Milley is portrayed in the book as a key figure that stood between Trump and an overthrow of the government.
The book quotes an anonymous friend of the general who tells him: ‘What they are 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 book contains several other reported conversations between Milley and other officials, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.
According to the book, Milley warned Meadows to ‘be careful’ and not fire then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
'What's going on? Are you guys getting rid of Wray or Gina?' Milley reportedly asked Meadows.
'Come on chief. What the hell is going on here? What are you guys doing?'
'Don't worry about it,' Meadows reportedly told the general during the Army-Navy football game in December.
'Just some personnel moves.'
Milley warned Meadows as if to indicate that he was watching, according to the book.
Rucker and Leonnig reported that after the Capitol riot, Milley held daily conference calls with Meadows and Mike Pompeo, who was secretary of state under Trump.
Milley reportedly used the conference calls to ‘collectively survey the horizon for trouble.’
'The general theme of these calls was, come hell or high water, there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January twentieth,' a senior official told the authors.
'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 told aides he saw the calls as an opportunity to gauge what Trump might try to do, according to the book.
The authors also reported that weeks before the election, Pompeo visited Milley at home and told him: ‘You know the crazies are taking over.’
Pompeo denied making the remark, according to the authors.
Another excerpt in the book describes a conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Milley.
After the Capitol riot, Pelosi told Milley she was worried that Trump was ‘crazy,’ ‘dangerous,’ and a ‘maniac.’
After Trump fired Esper, Pelosi reportedly told Milley: ‘We are all trusting you. Remember your oath.’
The speaker reportedly expressed concern that Trump would deploy nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to stay in power.
Milley tried to reassure the speaker.
‘Ma’am, I guarantee you these processes are very good,’ the general told her.
‘There’s not going to be an accidental firing of nuclear weapons.’
Pelosi then asked: ‘How can you guarantee me?’
‘Ma’am, there’s a process,’ Milley replied. ‘We will only follow legal orders. We’ll only do things that are legal, ethical, and moral.’
The book also reports on a telephone call between Milley and House Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican from Wyoming who broke with her party to criticize Trump.
Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 riot led her caucus to remove her from a House GOP leadership position.
Prior to the vote, Cheney was the No. 3 Republican in the House.
On the day after the Capitol riot, Milley asked Cheney how she was doing.
‘That f***ing guy Jim Jordan. That son of a b***h,’ Cheney is reported to have said.
Cheney then told Milley that during the violence, as a mob of Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol and sent members of Congress scurrying for safety, she ran into Jordan on the House floor.
Jordan, the Republican congressman from Ohio, is one of Trump’s most ardent supporters.
After the election, Jordan amplified Trump’s claims that the election was illegitimate due to rampant voter fraud.
‘While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, “We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.”
‘I smacked his hand and told him, “Get away from me. You f***ing did this”.’