Top US General Mark Milley compared former president Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler, accusing him of preaching “the gospel of the Führer” as he deployed rabble-rousing rhetoric in a quest to cling to power, a new book says.
Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, also referred to Trump’s supporters as “brownshirts in the streets,” and compared Trump’s attempts to discredit the election results in the run-up to the January 6 Capitol riot to the Nazi leader using an arson attack on the German parliament to seize absolute power, according to New York magazine, which obtained an advance copy of “I Alone Can Fix It,” by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” he is said to have remarked.
The book, which purports to give an insider account of the final year of the Trump presidency, is slated to come out July 20.
According to NY Mag, in the book, Milley recalls that he was initially unconcerned for the state of American democracy when an old friend warned him that Trump and his backers were trying to “overturn the government.”
“They may try, but they’re not going to fucking succeed,” he reportedly told his aides. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with guns.”
Shortly after the January 6 insurrection, Milley met with House speaker Nancy Pelosi “to discuss available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike,” in the words of the senior Democrat.
Pelosi later told House Democrats in a conference call that Milley reassured her that there are steps in place to prevent Trump from firing nuclear weapons.
A week after the Capitol riot, Milley was quoted saying: “These guys are Nazis, they’re boogaloo boys, they’re Proud Boys. These are the same people we fought in World War II.”
The book dates Milley’s concerns regarding Trump to a June 2020 photo op by the former president at Lafayette Square near the White House, which was preceded by the violent removal of racial justice protesters.
Milley, who took part in the controversial event, later apologized for it.