Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told then-President Donald Trump that the violent demonstrations following George Floyd’s death were just “penny packet protests,” according to a new book.
Milley reportedly downplayed the unrest in the country last May, rejecting Trumps’ suggestion that protesters are “burning America down.”
‘Mr. President, they’re not burning it down,” Milley said, according to Peril of Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.
It’s still unclear when the conversation took place in May, but there had been a series of protests in numerous cities following Floyd’s death on May 25 after Officer Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.
In a new book, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told former President Donald Trump that the riots that followed George Floyd’s death were “penny packet protests” while downplaying it was an insurgency
In this June 6, 2020 file photo, protesters outside the White House in Washington protest over the death of George Floyd
Protests erupted across the country after Floyd’s death, with thousands calling on police to refund their money and be held responsible for acts of violence that go unpunished or ignored.
As a result of the protests, more than a dozen cities have imposed curfews, while thousands of National Guardsmen have been deployed in at least 15 states.
Two people were shot dead in Indianapolis after protests turned violent. In Denver, Colorado, a car rammed into a police vehicle, injuring three officers and a civilian, and rioters armed with crowbars, baseball bats, assault rifles and pistols attacked officers and protesters.
Milley allegedly assured Trump that there were only two cities with major protests, and most places had up to 300 protesters.
“They used spray paint, Mr. President, that’s not an insurrection,” Mllley said.
Milley then gestured to a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln and stated that the protests were not comparable to the militia bombing of Fort Sumter in 1861.
‘We are a country of 330 million people. You have those penny protests,” he said, before adding that the situation wasn’t as threatening as the 1968 Washington riots.
The term refers to a small number of things or people, which are otherwise considered insufficient.
Protesters march as they protest police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC
On Sept. 14, the Tucker Carlson Tonight hosted detailed meetings in which Milley reportedly told senior military officials that Trump was a “serious threat to national security” and may need to be dealt with “physical violence.”
The book claims that Milley told Trump that the protests were no problem for the US military.
Earlier this week, Tucker Carlson called Milley “treacherous” after the book alleged that Milley told officials that Trump was a “serious threat to national security” and “may need to be dealt with with physical force.”
Written by famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, “Peril” outlines Milley’s discussions with then-President Trump over the May 2020 protests following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis.
According to the book, Milley told officials at the National Military Command Center that they “reported to him, not to the President-elect of the United States” and that they “would not obey any order without consulting him first.”
He also held secret talks with China behind Trump’s back in an effort to prevent war, and sought to limit Trump’s ability to launch nuclear weapons, the book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa claims.
‘How do you describe this? ‘Deep state’ is not strong enough,” Carlson said on his show on Tuesday. “It’s treason. It’s a crime.’
“For those who say they’re concerned about the advent of authoritarianism in America, well, it’s here,” Carlson added. ‘That’s what this is. Authoritarian government. Government by unelected, inexplicable leaders who are willing to use force to maintain their rule.”
Carlson told his viewers that Milley told officials at the first meeting that Trump’s behavior jeopardized the “stability of the Republic.”
Milley reportedly had similar conversations with CIA Director Gina Haspel, NSA Chief Paul Nakasone, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.