U.S. general feared Trump would attempt coup, book says
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A new book claims that General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the Pentagon was so worried about a coup attempt during the 2020 presidential election that top brass drew up contingency plans to stop a power grab by former President Trump.
As the former president pushed his narrative about a stolen election, the nation’s top military officer worried Mr. Trump or his supporters could attempt a coup, Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker write in the forthcoming book, “I Alone Can Fix It.”
“They may try, but they’re not going to f—ing succeed,” Milley is quoted as saying. “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.”
On Thursday, Mr. Trump fired back at the news, calling the claims “so ridiculous.”
“If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley,” he added.
The authors say Milley also drew parallels between Mr. Trump’s claims of election fraud and Adolf Hitler’s rhetoric in Nazi Germany. He told aides: “This is a Reichstag moment. …The gospel of the Führer,” according to the book.
The authors also say Milley told staffers that listening to the president was like reading George Orwell’s dystopian novel “1984”: “Lies are truth. Division is unity. Evil is good.”
At an event Thursday, Milley appeared to joke about the potential impact his alleged comments could have on his own career. After commenting that he wouldn’t be at the retirement of one of the event’s attendees, he said, “I may be at my own before that, but who knows?”
The book also claims Milley was not alone in his concerns. Top Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, told Milley to assure her that Mr. Trump would not use nuclear weapons, the book said.
When asked by CBS News if he had similar conversations with Milley, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer said “I’m going to keep my conversations between myself and General Milley private.”
Milley himself was criticized for appearing with Mr. Trump on June 1, 2020, after protesters were forcefully cleared from Lafayette Square in front of the White House. Milley later apologized.