Milley pressed on claims he was involved Trump would try coup
Washington (CNN)Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees Mark Milley mentioned Wednesday he would not touch upon a latest e book excerpt alleging he and different prime officers have been so deeply involved that former President Donald Trump and his allies may try a coup after the November 2020 election they informally deliberate for methods to cease it.
“I am not going to touch upon what’s in any of these books,” Milley mentioned throughout a press convention on the Pentagon the place he was repeatedly pressed on a myriad of claims about his relationship with the previous President.
Nevertheless, Milley did stress that he and the opposite prime Pentagon leaders have at all times “maintained” their oaths to the Structure and to not any particular person, making clear that “the navy didn’t and won’t and shouldn’t ever get entangled in home politics.”
“I need you to know, and I need everybody to know, I need America to know, that the US navy is an apolitical establishment. We have been then; we at the moment are. And our oath is to the Structure, to not any particular person in any respect,” he mentioned.
“We do not arbitrate elections. That is the job of the judiciary and the legislature and the American folks. It’s not the job of the US navy. We stayed out of politics. We’re an apolitical establishment,” Milley added.
The highest US basic additionally reiterated that he has at all times introduced the most effective navy recommendation to Trump and President Joe Biden. “I at all times personally supplied the most effective navy skilled recommendation to President Trump beforehand, to President Biden or some other president.”
Milley’s feedback come as he options prominently in a slew of scathing books launched this summer time detailing the ultimate months of Trump’s time in workplace.
Excerpts from these books have remodeled Milley’s picture from Trump’s hand-picked basic — who accompanied the President to his notorious photo-op at St. John’s Church throughout the George Floyd protests — to one of many former President’s harshest critics.
Based on the upcoming e book from Washington Publish reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, “I Alone Can Repair It,” Milley was deeply involved Trump and his allies may try a coup after the election, and he in contrast Trump’s lies about election fraud to the rhetoric utilized by Adolf Hitler as he rose to energy in Germany.
“This can be a Reichstag second,” Milley informed his aides, in keeping with the e book. “The gospel of the Führer.”
These startling feedback have been solely the newest occasion the place Milley discovered himself in the course of main political fights in each the Trump period and throughout the fallout from the January 6 riot.
One other e book by Wall Avenue Journal reporter Michael Bender says Milley repeatedly pushed again on Trump’s argument that the navy ought to intervene violently in an effort to quell the civil unrest that erupted across the nation final yr and was the lone voice of opposition to these calls for throughout heated Oval Workplace discussions.
Titled “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Misplaced,” the e book reveals new particulars about how Milley repeatedly intervened as Trump’s language grew to become more and more violent throughout Oval Workplace conferences as protests in Seattle and Portland started to obtain consideration from cable new retailers.
“Simply shoot them,” Trump mentioned on a number of events contained in the Oval Workplace, in keeping with the excerpts.
When Milley and then-Lawyer Basic William Barr would push again, Trump toned it down, however solely barely, Bender provides.
Whereas Milley has sought to distance himself from politics, Wednesday’s press convention as soon as once more underscores how he and different prime officers are nonetheless grappling with the fallout from Trump’s presidency months after he left workplace.
After the brand new revelations about Milley’s actions and views surrounding the January 6 riot got here out earlier this month, Trump wasted little time earlier than trashing Milley in a prolonged assertion calling for him to be fired.
“I by no means threatened, or spoke about, to anybody, a coup of our Authorities,” Trump mentioned. “If I used to be going to do a coup, one of many final folks I’d wish to do it with is Basic Mark Milley.”
As was evident Wednesday, Milley doesn’t plan to publicly handle the problems raised within the e book, a protection official near him beforehand informed CNN.
The official acknowledged that throughout the closing weeks of the Trump administration, Milley engaged in actions and communications not a part of the standard portfolio of a Joint Chiefs chairman, carrying a heavier political load to maintain Trump in test. Whereas Milley “tried his hardest to actively keep out of politics,” the official mentioned, if the occasions that occurred introduced him into that area quickly, “so be it.”
“He isn’t going to sit down in silence whereas folks attempt to use the navy towards People,” the official mentioned.
Standing alongside Milley on Wednesday, Secretary of Protection Lloyd Austin defended the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Employees, telling reporters, “He would not have a political bone in his physique.”
“I’ve identified the chairman for a very long time. We have fought collectively. We have served a few occasions in the identical unit. So I am not guessing at his character,” Austin mentioned. “And I feel, I clearly have super religion and confidence within the chairman.”
“It is actually necessary to me that this division stay apolitical. And so we’ll do every thing inside our energy to make it possible for our troops, our management, each civilian and navy, stay targeted on the duty at hand, and perceive that they are not part of the political equipment right here,” Austin added.
CNN’s Jeremy Herb and Barbara Starr contributed reporting