Top generals feared Trump would attempt coup after election: book
Top U.S. generals were so concerned that former President Trump might stage a coup or take other illegal actions after his 2020 election loss that they discussed informal plans to stop him, according to excerpts from a forthcoming book obtained by CNN.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley and others were concerned that Trump or his allies would stage a coup in an attempt to have him stay in power, according to Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker’s new book, “I Alone Can Fix It,” which is set to be released Tuesday.
According to CNN, the book reports that Milley and other Joint Chiefs were considering resigning one at a time to avoid carrying out the orders of the former president, which they worried might be dangerous or illegal.
Milley was reportedly “on guard” for what might transpire following the election and had spoken with lawmakers and friends over the possibility of a coup.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f—— succeed,” Milley told his deputies, according to the book. “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.”
Leonnig and Rucker’s new book gives a behind-the-scenes look at Trump’s final year in office as he dealt with the coronavirus pandemic, the murder of George Floyd and the 2020 election. The book’s authors interviewed Trump for more than two hours.
According to CNN, the book reports that Milley was also concerned about Trump’s actions leading up to Jan. 6. The authors wrote that that Milley saw Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.”
“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,” according to the book.
Trump in a statement on Thursday dismissed the allegations in the new book, saying he “never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government.”
“So ridiculous!” he said while repeating unfounded allegations of massive election fraud and saying he lost respect for Milley last summer.
The Hill has reached out to the Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for comment.
–Updated on July 15 at 12:06 p.m.