General Mark Milley, the chairman of the US joint chiefs of staff, found ex-president Donald Trump’s efforts to contest the 2020 election results similar to those of Adolf Hitler, an upcoming book by two Pulitzer Prize-winning journalists has revealed.
The book, I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker quotes Gen Mark Milley as saying that the then-president was “preaching the gospel of the Fuhrer”.
Gen Milley believed that Mr Trump was a “threat to democracy” and had led the country to the brink with its own “Reichstag moment”, according to an excerpt from the book published online.
The book, which chronicles Mr Trump’s last year in office, reveals that the general and other joint chiefs once discussed a plan to resign instead of listening to the president’s orders. It says they considered these orders to be “illegal and dangerous”.
Gen Milley was concerned about something “sinister” to come, the book says. The resignation of attorney general William Barr and Mr Trump’s firing of defense secretary Mark Esper were seen as signs of something ominous by the general.
This made him talk to lawmakers and friends about a potential “coup attempt” by Mr Trump, believing he had to be “on guard” for what might come, the two Washington Post journalists Leonnig and Rucker wrote.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,” Gen Milley told his deputies, according to the authors. “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,” he reportedly said.
In the days just before the 6 January riots at the Capitol, the authors say Gen Milley was worried about Mr Trump’s next steps: “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.”
The general also likened the former president to Hitler and saw Mr Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose”.
“These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II,” Gen Milley reportedly said a week after the 6 January attack on the Capitol building.
The authors interviewed more than 140 sources for the book. CNN reported that Gen Milley, quoted extensively in the book, “comes off in a positive light as someone who tried to keep democracy alive”.
The book will be out on 20 July.
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