Fearing “Trump’s mental decline” and the potential for a historic rupture in national security and international order, Mark Milley, Trump’s top military adviser, took charge to protect nuclear weapons

In response, Milley took extraordinary action, and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon's war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

68
293
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
President Donald Trump shakes hands with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley during a briefing with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington, Monday, Oct. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

National security of the United States was in a much deeper mess than ordinary Americans did realize, because of Trump’s loss. Two days after the January 6 attack on the U.S Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, single-handedly took secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons, according to “Peril,” a new book by legendary journalist Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.

Woodward and Costa write that Milley, deeply shaken by the assault, ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election.

Milley worried that Trump could ‘go rogue,’ the authors write.

“You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book, and as contained in a CNN report.

Fearing Trump’s loss could trigger the national crisis, Milley took extraordinary action and called a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior military officials in charge of the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s war room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved.

President Donald Trump listens during an event on Operation Warp Speed in the Rose Garden of the White House, Friday, Nov. 13, 2020, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers, according to the book. He then went around the room, looked each officer in the eye, and asked them to verbally confirm they understood.

“Got it?” Milley asked, according to the book. “Yes, sir.” ‘Milley considered it an oath,’ the authors write.

Milley’s fear was based on his own observations of Trump’s erratic behavior. His concern was magnified by the events of January 6 and the ‘extraordinary risk’ the situation posed to US national security, the authors write. Milley had already had two back-channel phone calls with China’s top general, who was on high alert over the chaos in the US.

Then Milley received a blunt phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, according to the book. Woodward and Costa exclusively obtained a transcript of the call, during which Milley tried to reassure Pelosi that the nuclear weapons were safe.

January 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol, against the election victory of president-elect Joe Biden

Pelosi pushed back.

“What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do?

And is there anybody in charge at the White House who was doing anything but kissing his fat butt all over this?”

Pelosi continued, “You know he’s crazy. He’s been crazy for a long time.”

According to Woodward and Costa, Milley responded, “Madam Speaker, I agree with you on everything.”

Nancy Pelosi: “What I’m saying to you is that if they couldn’t even stop him from an assault on the Capitol, who even knows what else he may do?

After the call, Milley decided he had to act. He told his top service chiefs to watch everything “all the time.” He called the director of the National Security Agency, Paul Nakasone, and told him, “Needles up … keep watching, scan.” And he told then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, “Aggressively watch everything, 360.”

The authors write, ‘Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world.’

Woodward and Costa also write that ‘some might contend that Milley had overstepped his authority and taken extraordinary power for himself,’ but he believed his actions were ‘a good faith precaution to ensure there was no historic rupture in the international order, no accidental war with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons, following from Trump’s loss’

Milley called it the ‘absolute darkest moment of theoretical possibility,’ the authors write.

Woodward and Costa write that top national security officials were worried that because of Trump’s loss, Trump might pull a “Wag the Dog” — provoking a conflict domestically or abroad to distract from his crushing election loss.

The growing influence of China in Africa…

68 COMMENTS

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.