Defense

Milley moved to limit Trump military strike abilities after Jan. 6, Woodward book claims: report

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley moved to limit former President Trump’s ability to call for a military strike or launch nuclear weapons days after the deadly Jan. 6 Capitol riot according to “Peril,” an upcoming book about the end of Trump’s presidency written by veteran journalist Bob Woodward and The Washington Post’s Robert Costa.

Woodward and Costa wrote in their new book that Milley was worried that Trump might “go rogue,” according to CNN.

According to the two journalists, Milley “was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.”

Due to this perceived “decline,” Woodward and Costa wrote that Milley convened a secret meeting at the Pentagon on Jan. 8 in order to review the process of military actions. According to the CNN report, Milley ordered senior military officials to not take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” he reportedly said.

Milley’s fear of the president going “rogue” was apparently based on prior experience. According to “Peril,” Trump issued a military order to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan on Jan. 15, five days before he was set to step down from office.

As Woodward and Costa wrote, Milley “felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump and believed it was his job as the senior military officer to think the unthinkable and take any and all necessary precautions.”

The Hill has reached out to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Trump’s office for comment.

Numerous political books written about the last days of the Trump administration have detailed the adversarial relationship Trump and Milley had.

In the book “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” author Michael Bender wrote of how Trump and Milley engaged in a shouting match last year when the president tried to force Milley to respond to the racial justice protests that took place over the summer.

Trump reportedly believed Milley had the legal authority to deploy active-duty troops to respond within Washington, D.C., amid protests. However, former Attorney General William Barr, who was reportedly in the room with them, informed Trump that Milley, as he had said himself, did not have the authority to do so.

Another political book published after Trump left office, “I Alone Can Fix It” by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, claimed that Milley had concerns that Trump would attempt to carry out a coup in order to stay in power, with the general viewing Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.’

Tags Donald Trump Donald Trump Jan. 6 Capitol attack Mark Milley Mark Milley trumpism William Barr

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