General Milley was concerned that Mr Trump was planning a coup
The exchange was detailed in The New Yorker,
The ominous question came just three days before the attack on the Capitol. Mr Trump, General Milley, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller were at the meeting to discuss Iran and its nuclear activities.
General Milley has been at the forefront of the news cycle as reports in the upcoming book “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” suggest he was sincerely concerned that Mr Trump would attempt some kind of coup to maintain his office.
The book’s authors, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, spoke with more than 140 sources -including former Trump officials, and the former president himself – to compile their account of his last year in office.
In the book, General Milley is presented as the last “adult in the room” and comes to the realization he would be the nation’s last line of defense against a tyrannical Trump administration that refused to leave the White House.
Mr Trump has responded to those allegations, saying he never planned a coup with anyone.
“Sorry to inform you, but an election 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,” Mr Trump said in a statement. “I’m not into coups!”
Reporting in the book suggests General Milley became concerned that the former president would not leave office in the days after the 2020 election. At that point Mr Trump had already begun peddling his lies about voter fraud, which reportedly concerned General Milley. His concern grew when Mr Trump began filling out top spots at the Pentagon with loyalists.
Mr Milley is reported to have made several allusions to Mr Trump’s administration and the Nazis, suggesting that the country was facing a “Reichstag moment”. He also was reportedly concerned that Mr Trump’s “Million MAGA March” could become America’s “brownshirts in the streets,”referring to a paramilitary wing of the Nazi party that preceded the SS.
Ultimately, General Milley was confident a coup by Mr Trump could not succeed because he would require the cooperation of the FBI, the CIA and the military, as they “have all the guns.”