The final days of Donald Trump’s presidency were a roller coaster ride for the top U.S. military officer, as Trump and his allies tried to stay in power after losing the 2020 election, according to an upcoming book .
General Mark Milley, chairman of the joint cabinet states, described a “stomach-churning” feeling as he watched President Trump then relentlessly claim that he had won the 2020 election, and Milley compared Trump’s actions to the rise of Adolf Hitler. to power in Nazi Germany.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told his top aides, according to the book by two Washington Post reporters. “The Fuhrer’s Gospel.”
In 1933, the Reichstag building of the German parliament caught fire, giving Hitler a pretext to consolidate his dictatorship.
The book “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker is based on interviews with more than 140 people, including senior Trump administration officials, according to the Washington Post.
The authors recount a series of episodes involving General Milley, increasingly worried after Trump’s defeat in the November election, which Joe Biden had. won by a count of 306 to 232 at the U.S. Electoral College.
Milley told people he feared an American version of “brown shirts on the streets” after attending a briefing on a “MAGA Million March” that Trump was planning. The Brownshirts were political and paramilitary agents who used violence and intimidation to support Hitler’s rise to power.
That same evening, according to a report in the Washington Post book, an old friend named Milley warned him that people close to Trump were trying to “overthrow the government.”
“What am I dealing with?” Milley replied.
The events of January 6, when Trump supporters stormed the U.S. Capitol, still hit American politics, as Trump continues to dominate Republican voters and the party. Democrats in the U.S. House have formed a special committee to investigate the Jan. 6 insurgency. This committee is due to hold its first public meeting as soon as next week.
Trump, who still claims they stole the 2020 election, issued a statement Thursday that he had “lost respect for Milley” and that he “never threatened or talked to anyone about a coup.”
“Never during my administration did Milley show what he is showing now,” Trump’s statement said.
In the last days of the presidency, Trump sought to install loyalists to the FBI, the CIA, and the Department of Defense.
Milley took the warning signals seriously and began quietly planning with other Pentagon leaders how they would block any attempt by Trump to use the military to stay in power.
“They may try, but they will not succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to the book.
Members of Congress and some Trump administration officials were also concerned at the time that Trump was trying to use the military to stay in power. Milley offered reassurance.
“Everything will be fine,” Milley advised, according to the book.
“We will have a peaceful transfer of power. Let’s land this plane safely. This is America. He is strong. The institutions are doubling, but it will not be broken. “
Milley faced White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows in December at a Navy-collegiate football game attended by Trump.
“What the hell is going on here? What are you doing? Milley asked Meadows.
A former Republican congressman who joined Trump’s White House in March 2020, Meadows was far more political than his White House predecessor, John Kelly, who had been a former military officer.
“Don’t worry,” Meady offered Milley, according to the book.
“Just be careful,” Milley warned Meadows, who had been a staunch supporter of Trump during his removal from the House of Representatives.
Security breaches led to the Capitol’s breach
After the Revolt of January 6th by Trump supporters at the U.S. Capitol – in which thousands stormed Congress and disrupted the official Electoral College count certifying Biden’s victory – National Guard troops were called in to secure the Capitol.
At a meeting of military and senior police officials to plan the security of the nearby Biden inauguration on January 20th, Milley told the group, “Let’s put a steel ring around this city and the Nazis won’t get in.”