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Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley feared Trump would attempt a COUP after losing the election, warned of a ‘Reichstag moment’ and said the then-president was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer’, new book claims

  • Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, reportedly feared then-President Trump would attempt coup after November election 
  • Claim was made in book titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig 
  • In days before riot at US Capitol on January 6, Milley confided to friends that he feared US was approaching ‘Reichstag moment,’ according to the new book
  • He reportedly told friends that Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer’ and that he was ginning up his ‘brownshirts in the streets’  
  • Milley grew alarmed in the days after the election when Trump fired several senior officials from their posts at the Pentagon and installed loyalists 
  • They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,’ Milley told his deputies when discussing possibility they might try a coup
  • ‘You can’t do this without the military,’ Milley is quoted as saying. ‘You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns’   

The country’s top military officer was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book.

General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and his deputies reportedly pledged to resign en masse if they were given an order by Trump that was illegal or unconstitutional.

‘They may try, but they’re not going to f***ing succeed,’ Milley told his deputies.

‘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.’

The dramatic quote excerpted by CNN was revealed in a new book authored by Washington Post reporters Philip Rucker and Carol Leonnig titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.

The book is scheduled for release next week.

General Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was so convinced that then-President Donald Trump would attempt a coup after his election loss to Joe Biden that he and other senior generals made plans to stop him, according to a new book. Milley is seen left with Trump at the Army-Navy college football game in Philadelphia in December 2018

Milley reportedly referred to Trump supporters as 'brownshirts' and compared the former president to Hitler. The image above shows Trump supporters rioting at the US Capitol on January 6

Milley reportedly referred to Trump supporters as ‘brownshirts’ and compared the former president to Hitler. The image above shows Trump supporters rioting at the US Capitol on January 6

Days before the riot at the US Capitol on January 6, Milley warned confidantes of a ‘Reichstag moment’ facing the country.

According to the book, his concern stemmed from the fact that Trump was preaching ‘the gospel of the Führer.’

Milly referred to Trump supporters at a march to protest the election as ‘brownshirts in the streets.’

In 1933, after Hitler was elected chancellor of Germany, the Nazis used a fire at the Reichstag building, home to Germany’s parliament, as a pretext to suspend civil liberties and consolidate power by claiming the country was under threat from communists.

The claims were made in a new book due out next week titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year

The claims were made in a new book due out next week titled I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year

The brownshirts were Nazi paramilitaries who helped Hitler rise to power.

‘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,’ Rucker and Leonnig write.

The joint chiefs chairman was especially worried by the fact that Trump purged the Defense Department of those who raised objections to his ideas and replaced them with loyalists after the November election.

Days after the election, Trump fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper and replaced him with Christopher Miller.

Other deputies to Esper were also fired and replaced with those who shared the then-president’s views.

In December, Attorney General William Barr resigned after he refused to endorse Trump’s claims of rampant voter fraud.

The departures of Barr and Esper left Milley concerned, according to the book. 

Milley reportedly told friends that he felt he needed to be ‘on guard’ in anticipation of what might happen.

According to the authors, Milley told associates that he believed Trump was ‘the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose,’ which led to the Hitler comparisons.

Milley is portrayed in the book as a key figure that stood between Trump and an overthrow of the government.

THE 1933 REICHSTAG FIRE: A KEY TURNING POINT IN GERMANY’S DEMOCRATIC DECLINE

The February 27, 1933 file photo above shows the Reichstag building, Germany's parliament, on fire. It is considered a key turning point in the Nazi rise to power

The February 27, 1933 file photo above shows the Reichstag building, Germany’s parliament, on fire. It is considered a key turning point in the Nazi rise to power

The German Reichstag fire of February 27, 1933 remains a pivotal moment in world history. 

That arson blaze ignited one of history’s ugliest stories of a fragile democracy gone tragically bad – and its generational consequences. 

Adolf Hitler, leader of the Nazis, elected Germany’s dominant party six months earlier, had exploited the fire – which he claimed was set by a half-blind, disabled, Dutch communist bricklayer – to transform Germany into a militarized dictatorship. 

This set in motion the Third Reich, World War II, the Holocaust, the destruction of Europe and the deaths of 60 million people, 2.5 percent of the global population. 

In 2008, German prosecutors formally overturned the conviction of the Dutch communist who was executed after the Nazis accused him of torching the Reichstag parliament building.

Marinus van der Lubbe, a bricklayer, was convicted of arson and high treason in December 1933 and executed on January 10, 1934.

Historians still debate whether van der Lubbe, a communist, actually set the fire, which came just a month after Hitler’s rise to power and was followed by the suspension of civil liberties.

Some believe the Nazis set it themselves to give Hitler an excuse for his crackdown against what he termed a ‘communist conspiracy.’

Van der Lubbe was the only defendant convicted of arson at the subsequent trial. 

Four other communists charged with him were acquitted by a Leipzig court.

Federal prosecutors said his conviction was overturned because the death sentence resulted from measures introduced under the Nazis ‘that were created to implement the National Socialist regime and enabled breaches of basic conceptions of justice.’ 

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The book quotes an anonymous friend of the general who tells him: ‘What they are trying to do here is overturn the government.

‘This is all real, man. You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff.’

The book contains several other reported conversations between Milley and other officials, including White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows.

According to the book, Milley warned Meadows to ‘be careful’ and not fire then-CIA Director Gina Haspel and FBI Director Christopher Wray. 

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper

Former Attorney General Bill Barr

In the weeks after the election, Trump fired his defense secretary, Mark Esper (left), and appointed several loyalists to top Pentagon posts. Bill Barr (right) resigned as attorney general. Their departure left Milley concerned that Trump would try to engineer a coup to stay in power

‘What’s going on? Are you guys getting rid of Wray or Gina?’ Milley reportedly asked Meadows.

‘Come on chief. What the hell is going on here? What are you guys doing?’

‘Don’t worry about it,’ Meadows reportedly told the general during the Army-Navy football game in December.

‘Just some personnel moves.’

Milley warned Meadows as if to indicate that he was watching, according to the book. 

Rucker and Leonnig reported that after the Capitol riot, Milley held daily conference calls with Meadows and Mike Pompeo, who was secretary of state under Trump.

Milley reportedly used the conference calls to ‘collectively survey the horizon for trouble.’

‘The general theme of these calls was, come hell or high water, there will be a peaceful transfer of power on January twentieth,’ a senior official told the authors.

‘We’ve got an aircraft, our landing gear is stuck, we’ve got one engine, and we’re out of fuel.

‘We’ve got to land this bad boy.’ 

Milley told aides he saw the calls as an opportunity to gauge what Trump might try to do, according to the book.

The authors also reported that weeks before the election, Pompeo visited Milley at home and told him: ‘You know the crazies are taking over.’

Pompeo denied making the remark, according to the authors. 

Another excerpt in the book describes a conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Milley.

Former CIA Director Gina Haspel

FBI Director Christopher Wray

According to the book, Milley warned the Trump White House to ‘be careful’ and not fire then-CIA Director Gina Haspel (left) and FBI Director Christopher Wray (right)

Another excerpt in the book describes a conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Milley. After the Capitol riot, Pelosi told Milley she was worried that Trump was ‘crazy,’ ‘dangerous,’ and a ‘maniac’

Another excerpt in the book describes a conversation between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Milley. After the Capitol riot, Pelosi told Milley she was worried that Trump was ‘crazy,’ ‘dangerous,’ and a ‘maniac’

After the Capitol riot, Pelosi told Milley she was worried that Trump was ‘crazy,’ ‘dangerous,’ and a ‘maniac.’

After Trump fired Esper, Pelosi reportedly told Milley: ‘We are all trusting you. Remember your oath.’

The speaker reportedly expressed concern that Trump would deploy nuclear weapons in a desperate attempt to stay in power.

Milley tried to reassure the speaker.

‘Ma’am, I guarantee you these processes are very good,’ the general told her.

‘There’s not going to be an accidental firing of nuclear weapons.’

Pelosi then asked: ‘How can you guarantee me?’

‘Ma’am, there’s a process,’ Milley replied. ‘We will only follow legal orders. We’ll only do things that are legal, ethical, and moral.’ 

The book also reports on a telephone call between Milley and House Rep. Liz Cheney, the Republican from Wyoming who broke with her party to criticize Trump.

Cheney’s vote to impeach Trump for his role in the January 6 riot led her caucus to remove her from a House GOP leadership position.

House Rep. Liz Cheney

House Rep. Jim Jordan

According to the book, Milley was told by House Rep. Liz Cheney (left), the Republican from Wyoming, that she smacked the hand of fellow GOP congressman Jim Jordan (right) during the Capitol riot, telling him: ‘Get away from me. You f***ing did this’

Prior to the vote, Cheney was the No. 3 Republican in the House.

On the day after the Capitol riot, Milley asked Cheney how she was doing.

‘That f***ing guy Jim Jordan. That son of a b***h,’ Cheney is reported to have said.

Cheney then told Milley that during the violence, as a mob of Trump supporters ransacked the Capitol and sent members of Congress scurrying for safety, she ran into Jordan on the House floor.

Jordan, the Republican congressman from Ohio, is one of Trump’s most ardent supporters.

After the election, Jordan amplified Trump’s claims that the election was illegitimate due to rampant voter fraud.

‘While these maniacs are going through the place, I’m standing in the aisle and he said, “We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you.”

‘I smacked his hand and told him, “Get away from me. You f***ing did this”.’ 

‘You’re surrounded by total incompetence. Hang in there’: Friend warned Milley about trouble on election night

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley received a warning about what could be a bumpy transition from a retired military buddy on election night 2020 as returns were coming in. 

The friend called and told Milley: ‘You are an island unto yourself right now. You are not tethered. Your loyalty is to the Constitution. You represent the stability of the republic,’ according to the book. 

‘There’s fourth-rate people at the Pentagon. And you have fifth-rate people at the White House. You’re surrounded by total incompetence. Hang in there. Hang tough,’ the friend said. 

Milley was watching the election returns from his home at Fort Myer in Arlington, Virginia. 

They wrote that he ‘memorialized the night by keeping his own scorecard of states in his journal.’ 

And around 10:30 p.m. he received the call. 

Earlier in the day, Milley, Defense Secretary Mark Esper and other officials were briefed about security concerns around the nation, including that if Trump won 10,000 to 15,000 Americans could take to the streets in Washington, D.C. to protest.  

Esper – who had been on the chopping block with Trump since June when he refused to use the Insurrection Act on Black Lives Matter protesters – also viewed his potential firing as a security threat. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley received a warning call from a military buddy on election night telling him that he was 'surrounded by total incompetence,' a new book said

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Mark Milley received a warning call from a military buddy on election night telling him that he was ‘surrounded by total incompetence,’ a new book said 

Leonnig and Rucker wrote in the book that Esper had NBC’s Courtney Kube kill a story that said he was preparing to be fired by Trump the day after the election.

The story was to also detail Esper’s efforts to help lawmakers on Capitol Hill rename Confederate-named military bases, something that Trump had campaigned against. 

Esper feared if it was published before the election, it would trigger a premature firing. 

‘He was worried about what Trump might try to do with the military if he were not at the helm,’ Rucker and Leonnig wrote. ‘Esper warned Kube that publishing her story could result in a more compliant acting secretary of defense, which could have worrisome repercussions.’

The story was held. 

The authors also detail what happened at the White House on election night. 

For one, an inebriated Rudy Giuliani advised Trump to ‘just say we won’ when Michigan and Pennsylvania hadn’t yet been called.  

Trump had invited nearly 400 people to the White House for an election night gathering – one that Melania Trump had wanted cancelled – and Giuliani, along with his son Andrew, a Trump aide, were set up on a laptop watching vote tallies in the Map Room. 

‘After a while, Rudy Giuliani started to cause a commotion,’ Leonnig and Rucker wrote. ‘He was telling other guests that he had come up with a strategy for Trump and was trying to get into the president’s private quarters to tell him about it.’ 

‘Some people thought Giuliani may have been drinking too much,’ the authors went on, adding that Trump’s campaign manager Bill Stepien was pushed to go talk to the former New York City mayor. 

Stepien, Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and Trump spokesman Jason Miller took Giuliani to a room off the Map Room to hear the so-called strategy. 

Giuliani then asked the state of play in certain swing states. 

He asked about Michigan. 

Trump’s advisers said it was too early to tell. 

‘Just say we won,’ Giuliani suggested. 

The Trump lawyer then asked about Pennsylvania and got the same response.  

‘Just say we won Pennsylvania,’ Giuliani said.  

The strategy, the authors wrote, was just announcing that Trump had won states before they were called.  

Meadows, Stepien and Miller pushed back. 

‘We can’t do that,’ said Meadows. ‘We can’t.’  

After Arizona was called by Fox News in favor of now President Joe Biden – a move that produced shockwaves through the White House that night – Giuliani pushed Trump to take his advice. 

Rudy Giuliani advised then President Donald Trump on election night to 'just say we won' when key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania hadn't been called yet - and later when Arizona was called for his rival, now President Joe Biden, a new book claims

Rudy Giuliani advised then President Donald Trump on election night to ‘just say we won’ when key states like Michigan and Pennsylvania hadn’t been called yet – and later when Arizona was called for his rival, now President Joe Biden, a new book claims 

‘Just go declare victory right now,’ Giuliani told the president. ‘You’ve got to go declare victory now.’ 

Trump listened, telling the waiting crowd, ‘Frankly, we did win this election. We did win this election,’ while the actual results of the election, which Biden won, took days to tabulate. 

Michigan and Pennsylvania both went blue for Biden.  

The authors described Trump’s campaign aides being ‘infuriated’ by Giuliani’s advice. 

‘It’s hard to be the responsible parent when there’s a cool uncle around taking the kid to the movies and driving him around in a Corvette,’ one said. ‘When we say the president can’t say that, being responsible is not the easiest place to be when you’ve got people telling the president what he wants to hear.’ 

‘It’s hard to tell the president no. It’s not an enviable place to be,’ the adviser added. 

Especially because Trump believed in the run-up to election night that he would win a second term. 

He had just come off a whirlwind tour of the swing states where he attracted large crowds, who had voyaged out to see the president despite the coronavirus risks. 

Biden refused to hold large rallies due to the COVID-19 threat, so there was no apples-to-apples comparison.  

Florida, Trump’s adopted home state, and a place where the campaign had spent a lot of energy attracting Latino supporters, looked good early on – and Trump would win that swing state. 

It was the midwest, Georgia and Arizona that were more problematic. 

Trump had also ignored Stepien when he told the president ‘it’s going to be good early.’ 

Stepien had explained to Trump that he could be up after polls closed, but then see leads get whittled away as mail-in ballots, more likely being used by Democratic voters, were counted.  

When Trump saw the numbers change, he suggested something was amiss. 

‘Why are they still counting votes?’ Trump asked, according to the authors. ‘The election’s closed. Are they counting ballots that came in afterward? What the hell is going on?’      

A spokesman denied that Trump ever said this.  

Trump told adviser Kellyanne Conway that something ‘nefarious was at play,’ the authors wrote. 

‘They’re stealing this from us,’ Trump said. ‘We have this thing won. I won in a landslide and they’re taking it back.’ 

Trump’s early proclamation of victory and his paranoia over ballots laid the groundwork for what would be called ‘the big lie.’ 

The book I Alone Can Fix It details how Rudy Giuliani, pictured in New York in June, told Trump advisers and then Trump that the president should just say he won Michigan and Pennsylvania and later the entire election, once Arizona was called for Biden

The book I Alone Can Fix It details how Rudy Giuliani, pictured in New York in June, told Trump advisers and then Trump that the president should just say he won Michigan and Pennsylvania and later the entire election, once Arizona was called for Biden 

The authors wrote that Trump ‘seemed to truly believe he had been winning.’ 

Polls had long predicted that Biden would win the White House after Trump’s disastrous response to the coronavirus crisis. 

But Trump was reacting to, as one adviser put it, ‘The psychological impact of, he’s going to win, people were calling him saying he’s going to win.’

‘And then somehow these votes just keep showing up,’ the aide told the authors.   

Leonnig and Rucker’s book is one of a handful of books about the end of the Trump’s time in office that will arrive in bookstores in January. 

Last week, Trump preemptively pushed back on the new books.       

‘It seems to me that meeting with authors of the ridiculous number of books being written about my very successful administration, or me, is a total waste of time,’ said Trump in a statement sent by his political action committee.

‘They write whatever they want to write anyway without sources, fact-checking, or asking whether or not an event is true or false.’    

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