Joint Chiefs Chairman Milley evades questions about his fears of Trump coup in the aftermath of the election
Gen Mark Milley dodged questions Wednesday about his fears that President Trump might stage a coup, as the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff for the first time since revelations that he had considered ways to resist armed attempts to stay in power, facing journalists.
Instead, he insisted that the US military was an “apolitical institution” and that it was up to the American people, the judiciary and the legislature to decide who held power.
A Pentagon press conference on Afghanistan was overshadowed by the day earlier release of “I Alone Can Fix It” by two Washington Post reporters.
It’s just one of many stories revealing how military leaders considered leaving the president if he tried to use US troops to maintain power.
Milley said he would not comment on books.
“But I want you to know and I want everyone to know, I want America to know that the US military is an apolitical institution. We were then and we are now,” he said.
Gen Mark Milley hit back at criticism from conservatives, insisting that the US military would “never get involved in domestic politics.” He has come under fire amid claims he and senior generals have considered how to prevent Trump from seizing power in a coup
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended Milley at the briefing, stressing that he had ‘faith and confidence’ in the Joint Chiefs chairman
Milley and Trump in happier times, after the former president delivered his State of the Union address at the US Capitol on February 4, 2020. Trump has since said that if he committed a coup, he wouldn’t have done it with Milley
The claims were made in a book published this week titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year
“And our oath is to the Constitution, not to any individual at all, and the military has not and will not and must never get involved in domestic politics.”
“We don’t mediate elections, that’s the job of the judiciary and the legislature and the American people is not the job of the American military.”
‘I Alone Can Fix It’ reveals how Milley saw the events of January 6 happen on TV. He saw Trump take the stage and deliver a speech, in which he saw parallels in his claims of voter fraud with Hitler’s mix of victimization and
“This is a Reichstag moment,” he reportedly told aides, referring to how Hitler’s rise was boosted by the burning of the German parliament building. “The Führer’s Gospel.”
His concern was such that he and other senior officers devised a strategy to stop him, including a plan to step down one at a time.
Another report, published by the New Yorker, suggested that Milley feared Trump would go to war against Iran as a pretext to stay in power.
As a result, conservatives, including Fox News host Tucker Carlson, have demanded that Miller be removed from his post as the nation’s top general.
Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin defended Milley at the briefing, stressing that he had “faith and confidence” in the chairman of the Joint Chiefs.
‘I have known the chairman for a long time. We fought together. We served in the same units a few times,” he said.
“I’m not betting on his character. He has no political bone in his body.’
Milley is also under fire for comments he made before a House committee last month when he said he wanted to understand “white anger,” and why a predominantly white, male mob flooded the US Capitol Building.
The briefing was intended to provide an update as the US military nears the end of its mission in Afghanistan, but the release of new accounts of Trump’s last days in power dominated a question-and-answer session.
“I’m not going to talk specifically about white anger or black anger, or Asian anger or Irish anger or English anger, German anger or any other rage, right?
“The events of January 6 have happened,” he said.
‘They will all be resolved. Historians will solve it. The committees take care of it.
“But I think it’s important that as professional military personnel we don’t just understand foreign countries and foreign cultures and foreign societies – that’s important that we do that – but we also have to understand our own society and understand the soldiers, sailors, pilots, marines, and the society they come from.’
For his part, Trump denied ever plotting a coup and launched an attack on Milley, saying he was the last person he would ever want as part of a takeover plot.
“So ridiculous,” he said.
“Sorry to inform you, but an election is my form of ‘coup’ and if I were to commit a coup, General Mark Milley would be one of the last people I would want to do it with.”