General Mark Milley, chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff, allegedly “yelled” at Donald Trump that he was not and would not be in charge of the federal response to the racial justice protests, prompting the then president to yell : “You can’t talk to me like that!”
The shouting match in the White House situation room was reported Monday by Axios, in another much-followed book trail: Frankly, We Won This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost by Michael Bender, a Wall Reporter Street Journal. .
Bender’s book will be published in August, but an extensive preview has been seen.
Milley made headlines last week when he took on Republicans for teaching about the history of racism in America, and for his pains he was called “stupid” and “pig” by Fox News host Tucker Carlson.
An earlier excerpt from Bender’s work showed Milley resisting Trump’s urges to “crack skulls” and “just shoot” protesters marching for racial justice after George Floyd’s murder by a Minneapolis police officer.
The exchange reported by Axios concerned command authority. Milley, Bender writes, told Trump he was an adviser but couldn’t get the answer.
“I said you’re in charge!” Trump allegedly screamed.
“Well I’m not in charge!” Milley is said to have yelled back at him.
“You can’t talk to me like that!” Trump allegedly screamed.
Bender reports that Milley told the advisers gathered in the situation room: “Damn. Here’s a room full of lawyers. Will someone inform you of my legal responsibilities? “
William Barr, then attorney general, is said to have endorsed Milley.
Trump denied the exchange, a spokesman calling it “fake news” and saying that Bender, who like many other authors interviewed the former president for his book, “never asked me about it and it is totally false news.”
“If General Milley had yelled at me, I would have fired him,” Trump said.
It has been widely reported that Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act, a landmark law to deal with internal unrest that was most recently used during the 1992 Los Angeles riots. It was not invoked, but the New York Times reported that attendees written up an order. Milley reportedly opposite use of the act.
On June 1 of last year, Trump raged at governors in a conference call, telling them to “toughen up” in response to protests that turned violent at times.
“If you don’t rule your city and your state, they will go with you,” Trump said. “In Washington we are going to do something that people have not seen before.”
Milley and other aides later accompanied Trump on a controversial walk through Lafayette Square outside the White House, which had been violently cleared of protesters, for a photo shoot at a church.
The general later apologized.
“He shouldn’t have been there,” he told students at the National Defense University. “My presence at that time, and in that environment, created the perception of the military involved in internal politics.”
George is Digismak’s reported cum editor with 13 years of experience in Journalism