WASHINGTON – Top US military leaders, fearing that former President Donald Trump could “get rogue” in the final weeks of his White House term, acted unilaterally to reassure China that the US would attack during Trump’s final days in office. will not. to a new book.
In two secret phone calls, General Mark Milley, chairman of the Pentagon’s Joint Chiefs of Staff, assured his counterpart, Chinese General Li Xuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, that the United States would not attack, according to the account in “Peril” for a long time. A book about the final days of Trump’s presidency by Washington Post investigative reporter Bob Woodward and one of the newspaper’s veteran political journalists, Robert Costa.
The book is scheduled for release next week, but the Post, CNN and other news outlets gave details on Tuesday.
The book says Milley made a call on October 30, 2020, four days before Trump lost his re-election bid to Democrat Joe Biden. The second came on January 8, 2021, two days after hundreds of Trump supporters stormed the US Capitol in an unsuccessful attempt to prevent lawmakers from attesting Biden’s election victory.
With Trump making belligerent remarks about China, Milley told the writers that he was inspired to reassure Lee that the US was not preparing for an attack.
“General Lee, I want to assure you that the US government is stable, and everything is going to be okay,” Milley told him according to the book. “We’re not going to attack you or do any kinetic operations.”
In the second call, Milley told Lee, “We are 100 percent stable. Everything is fine. But democracy can be crooked sometimes.”
According to the book, Milley made the second call because he believed Trump, enraged by his loss, had suffered a mental decline following the November 3 fallout—a scene Milley told House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a Shared with the opposition Democratic leader and longtime Trump critic.
The writers obtained a transcript of a call between Pelosi and Miley in which Pelosi told the general, “He’s crazy. You know he’s crazy,” referring to Trump.
After the riots at the Capitol, in which more than 600 people have been indicted so far, Milley worried that Trump “might be evil,” the authors said.
“You never know what the president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.
Milley called on senior military officials to review procedures for launching nuclear weapons. Milley stated that only the President, as Commander-in-Chief, could order a nuclear attack, but he, Milley, had to be involved as well.
According to the book, Milley asked each high-ranking official to confirm that they understood his role, which he believed to be an “oath.”
Woodward and Costa wrote that others in the US government also shared Milley’s concerns about Trump’s behavior when he lost the election.
“We are on the path of a right-wing coup,” Gina Haspel, director of the Central Intelligence Agency, reportedly told Milley.
In the end, Trump left Washington without attending Biden’s inauguration and made no foreign strikes at the last minute. But to this day, he regularly falsely claims that he was duped into re-elections by voter fraud in several states.
Trump said he is considering campaigning for another White House term in the 2024 election.
The book also describes how former Vice President Mike Pence struggled with Trump’s demand that Pence refuse to confirm the election results during a January 6 certification at the Capitol.
The authors wrote that Pence spoke with former Vice President Dan Quayle, who oversaw the certification of the 1992 election, when he was on the losing ticket. But Quayle assured Pence that he had no choice but to certify Biden’s victory after multiple counts and unsuccessful court challenges confirmed the result in major political battleground states.
Trump and Biden declined to be interviewed for the book. There was no immediate response from Trump about accounts of his actions in the final weeks of his presidency as the book relates.