A top military official talked to confidants about the possibility of a coup in the aftermath of the 2020 election, according to a new book.
Gen. Mark Milley, picked by former President Donald Trump to be chairman of the Joint Chiefs of staff, said he felt he had to be "on guard" after President Joe Biden won the November contest, according to snippets from I Alone Can Fix It, a book authored by two Washington Post journalists to be released next week.
In the months that followed the election, Trump claimed there was widespread fraud despite assurances by federal and state election officials there was no evidence of it, and his campaign and allies filed unsuccessful lawsuits around the country challenging the results. Early January was when the U.S. Capitol riot took place, disrupting lawmakers as they certified Biden's victory, and Trump was impeached for on a charge of inciting an insurrection. He was later acquitted by the GOP-led Senate.
At one point, Milley called former national security adviser to ask if a coup was imminent, the book said.
"What the f*** am I dealing with?" Milley asked.
The authors, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, also wrote that Milley referred to Trump as a "classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose," as he compared the former president's actions to those of Nazi leader Adolf Hitler.
"They may try, but they're not going to f****** succeed," Milley told his deputies, per the book. "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."
"This is a Reichstag moment," the general added. "The gospel of the Fuhrer."
The book also features an exchange between House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Milley, in which the top Democrat likened Trump to a "maniac" that could deploy nuclear warheads to stay in power.
"Ma'am, I guarantee you these processes are very good," Milley was quoted. "There's not going to be an accidental firing of nuclear weapons."
Pelosi responded: "How can you guarantee me?"
"Ma'am, there's a process," the general replied. "We will only follow legal orders. We'll only do things that are legal, ethical, and moral."
Ahead of Biden's inauguration on Jan. 20, Milley referred to potential disruptors of the event as "the same people we fought in World War II," according to the book.
"Here's the deal, guys: These guys are Nazis, they're boogaloo boys, they're Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II. We're going to put a ring of steel around this city, and the Nazis aren't getting in," the general was quoted.
Trump's post-presidency office did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Washington Examiner, but he recently issued a statement railing against several books that focus on him and his administration. The former president said much of the information is "false" and "many stories are made-up."
"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," the 45th president said through his Save America PAC. "They write whatever they want to write anyway without sources, fact-checking, or asking whether or not an event is true or false."
"Frankly, so many stories are made-up, or pure fiction," he added. "These writers are often bad people who write whatever comes to their mind or fits their agenda. It has nothing to do with facts or reality. So when reading the garbage that the Fake News Media puts out, please remember this and take everything with a 'grain of salt.'"