Gen. Milley feared Trump would launch military strike against China in final days of presidency: Woodward book

MediaIntel.Asia

Previous Next Gen. Milley feared Trump would launch military strike against China in final days of presidency: Woodward book New York Daily News 26 mins ago Dave Goldiner
Former President Trump was secretly stripped of his power to order nuclear strikes or launch military actions by top military brass in his final chaotic days in the White House, according to journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa’s forthcoming book, “Peril.”
The two veteran Washington Post reporters offer dramatic new details about Trump’s frantic effort to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election and stay in power. Selections from the book, which is set to be released next week, were first reported by The Washington Post on Tuesday.
Following the storming on the Capitol on Jan. 6, Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, took the unprecedented action of asking senior officers to swear an “oath” that Milley had to be involved if Trump gave an order to launch nuclear weapons, according to the book,
“There’s no telling what he could do. You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time,” House Speaker Nancy Pelosi told Milley during a frantic Jan. 8 call about Trump’s mental standing.
© Carolyn Kaster Then-President Donald Trump, extends a hand to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (right) Then-President Donald Trump, extends a hand to Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley (right) (Carolyn Kaster/)
“I agree with you on everything,” Milley responded, according to a transcript of the call.
Milley also called his Chinese counterpart Gen. Li Zuocheng twice to reassure him that there was no danger of a strike or other unpredictable military action in Trump’s final days in office.
“I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him in the first call, according to the book. “We are 100 percent steady. Everything’s fine. But democracy can be sloppy sometimes.”
“If we’re going to attack, I’m going to call you ahead of time. It’s not going to be a surprise,” Milley reportedly said.
© Provided by New York Daily News Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley (Alex Brandon/)
The book goes on to include new details about Trump’s effort to bully Vice President Mike Pence into blocking Congress from certifying the election of President Biden in what is supposed to be a ceremonial action on Jan. 6.
The book reports that the mercurial Trump lost his temper during a last-ditch effort on the night of Jan. 5 to convince Pence to take his side, and the veep insisted that he had a constitutional obligation to preside over Congress.
“Wouldn’t it be fun if you could do it?” Trump asked Pence, according to the book.
“No, it’s not possible,” Pence replied.
© Provided by New York Daily News In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, second from left, works beside Vice President Mike Pence during the certification of Electoral College ballots in the presidential election, in the House chamber at the Capitol in Washington. Shortly afterward, the Capitol was stormed by rioters determined to disrupt the certification. In this Jan. 6, 2021, file photo, Senate Parliamentarian Elizabeth MacDonough, second from left, works beside Vice President Mike Pence during the certification of Electoral College ballots in the presidential election, in the House chamber at the Capitol in Washington. Shortly afterward, the Capitol was stormed by rioters determined to disrupt the certification. (J. Scott Applewhite/)
“I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this,” Trump replied, according to the book, later telling his vice president, “You’ve betrayed us. I made you. You were nothing.”
It was not immediately clear how the authors obtained the Quote: s of the closed doors spat between Trump and Pence.
The book also says Pence called former Vice President Dan Quayle for advice about whether he had any wiggle room to bow to Trump’s demands.
Quayle, a fellow staunch conservative from Indiana, told Pence to move on.
“Mike, you have no flexibility on this,” Quayle told Pence. “None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away.”
Things got even more chaotic in the days after the Capitol riot. Trump became more unpredictable having already ousted officials deemed insufficiently loyal like Attorney General Williams Barr and Defense Secretary Mark Esper and installing unflinching loyalists in mid-level posts.
© Provided by New York Daily News Then-President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit outside St. John's Church, in Washington, D.C. Walking behind Trump from left are, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Then-President Donald Trump departs the White House to visit outside St. John's Church, in Washington, D.C. Walking behind Trump from left are, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. (Patrick Semansky/)
When Pelosi called Milley on Jan. 8, he told her he had taken precautions to prevent Trump from starting a conflict, even though there is no evidence he planned to do so. Milley did not inform Trump of the new protocol, which required generals to inform him before implementing presidential orders.
“I can guarantee you 110% that the military, use of military power, whether it’s nuclear or a strike in a foreign country of any kind, we’re not going to do anything illegal or crazy,” he said.
© Provided by New York Daily News Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. (J. Scott Applewhite/)
“What do you mean, illegal or crazy?” Pelosi asked.
“The best I can do is give you my word,” Milley said. “I’m going to prevent anything like that in the United States military.”
Requests for comment from Milley were not immediately returned.
With News Wire Services

This data comes from MediaIntel.Asia's Media Intelligence and Media Monitoring Platform.

Visit the original:
MediaIntel.Asia

Comments are closed.