Retired Admiral Mike Mullen, former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said on Sunday it was “incredibly disturbing” that reports detail the fears of a senior US general as Donald Trump in the past few days of his presidency, is trying to use the military to stage a coup or take action against Iran.
“I think the reporting, from what I understand, was pretty accurate,” Mullen said on CBS’s “Face the Nation”, according to the show’s transcript.
“Particularly after the election and the two threats you mentioned,” he told host John Dickerson when asked about the reports. “The external, and whether or not we were going to start some kind of fight or conflict with Iran. And then the internally in terms of where that might go, especially in terms of how the military would be used by President Trump to somehow validate that the election was actually a fraud and keep the president in power. I think this is all very precise and obviously incredibly disturbing, literally in every way. “
The current Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, had bluntly described his fear that Trump would use the US military to overthrow the 2020 election, according to published excerpts from an upcoming book, “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year, ”by Pulitzer Prize-winning Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
“They can try, but they’re not going to be successful,” Milley told his deputies of a possible coup, according to CNN’s report on the book, which will be released Tuesday. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do it without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.
The New Yorker’s Susan Glasser also reported last week that Milley told associates he was preparing for two “nightmare scenarios” as Trump continued to deny the election results: “using the military in streets of America to prevent the legitimate, peaceful transfer of power “or to use the military to escalate a conflict with Iran.
Milley had told his staff that Trump was fueling unrest after losing the November competition, reported Leonnig and Rucker, the top US general describing Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.” He was preparing for a confrontation with the president (Milley’s office declined to comment on the book’s claims.)
“It’s a Reichstag moment,” Milley told his aides, according to the book, referring to the 1933 fire in the German parliament building that preceded Adolf Hitler suspending many civil liberties in the country.
Trump issued a statement denying that he ever considered a coup, although he said “many people” urged him to “call in the military.”
He denigrated Milley at length through several statements, claiming that the general-in-chief had “neither courage nor competence” and was “certainly not the type of person I would speak with about“ coup. ”I am not in. shots !
Trump further suggested that Milley, whom he named, “should be impeached or court martialed and tried” if the book’s claims are true about what he said. Trump’s statements also continued to spread baseless plots of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election.
Mullen has at times been a vocal critic of Trump. In June 2020, he publicly denounced then-President Trump’s use of the military to rid Lafayette Square of non-violent protesters before a photo op with a Bible at nearby St. John’s Church. Trump, wrote Mullen in the Atlantic, “exposed his contempt for the rights to peaceful protest in this country, aided leaders of other countries who take comfort in our internal conflicts and risked further politicizing men. and the women of our armed forces. the forces. “
In his Sunday interview, Mullen noted that Milley “easily admitted to making a big mistake” in taking part in Trump’s march on Lafayette Square, but was ready for the tumultuous events to come, including the deadly 6 January at the United States Capitol by Trump supporters.
“His antenna was up,” Mullen said of Milley. “He knew what to do. He knew how to do it, the best you could understand, in a very, very fluid situation. And then he performed accordingly. So I think he more than made up for this mistake he made around Lafayette Square.
Mullen also told CBS he remained concerned about the politicization of the military.
“I continue to have them, even now, because the political environment is so intense and so divided. And we have to work hard to make sure the military is not part of what is politicized in this country.
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