Top US General Vowed to Fight Trump 'From the Inside'

Book excerpt reveals displeasure of Mark Milley, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2022 10:00 AM CDT
Top US General Vowed to Fight Trump 'From the Inside'
In this June 1, 2020, photo, President Trump departs the White House for a photo op. Walking behind Trump from left are, Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley later soured on this incident and Trump.   (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File)

(Newser) – The books about the presidency of Donald Trump continue to roll out, and an excerpt from an upcoming one details the tension between Trump and Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Milley got so fed up with Trump that he wrote a letter of resignation before deciding to remain in his post and "fight from the inside," according to The Divider: Trump in The White House, 2017-2021, by Peter Baker of the New York Times and Susan Glasser of the New Yorker. The excerpt is published in the New Yorker.

  • "The events of the last couple weeks have caused me to do deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and execute your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff," Milley wrote in his draft letter of June 2020. He wrote it after police used tear gas to clear out protesters to make way for a Trump photo op near the White House, per the Hill.
  • "You are using the military to create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the American people," Milley wrote. He also accused Trump of trying to "politicize" the military.

  • Ultimately, Milley decided against stepping down. "If they want to court-martial me, or put me in prison, have at it," Milley told his staff, according to the book. "But I will fight from the inside."
  • German generals: The excerpt also includes an exchange between Trump and chief of staff John Kelly, in which Trump wishes that his generals were as loyal to him as German generals were to Hitler. "You do know that they tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off?" Kelly responded, per the book. "No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him," Trump said.
  • Toilets: New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman also has a Trump book coming out soon, one in which she asserts that Trump had a habit of destroying documents by flushing them down toilets. Trump denied it when the report first surfaced in February, but Haberman has now supplied Axios with photos of, yes, torn up papers in toilet bowls.
(Read more Mark Milley stories.)

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