If you are wondering why nothing got done during the Trump administration, a big part of the answer is that Donald Trump came into office with a romanticized image of these establishment generals which had no basis in reality. They also repeatedly subverted his authority and orders.
“President Donald Trump, Miller, Attorney General Bill Barr, and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, were clashing over how to respond to the unrest, the book said, according to CNN.
During one debate in the Oval Office, Bender reportedly wrote, Miller said the protests reminded him of a war zone.
“These cities are burning,” Miller was quoted as saying.
Milley turned around in his seat, pointed his finger at Miller, and said, “Shut the f— up, Stephen,” the book reportedly says. …”
Obviously, it was Trump himself who appointed Mark Milley to be Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He has always had a knack for picking the best people.
“Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, repeatedly blew up at President Trump over how to handle last summer’s racial-justice protests, The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender writes in his forthcoming book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election.”
The backdrop: Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act and put Milley in charge of a scorched-earth military campaign to suppress protests that had spiraled into riots in several cities.
Milley — now a GOP villain for his testimony last week on critical race theory — pushed back, Bender writes in a passage Axios is reporting for the first time:
“Seated in the Situation Room with [Attorney General Bill] Barr, Milley, and [Secretary of Defense Mark] Esper, Trump exaggerated claims about the violence and alarmed officials … by announcing he’d just put Milley “in charge.”
Privately, Milley confronted Trump about his role. He was an adviser, and not in command. But Trump had had enough.
“I said you’re in f—ing charge!” Trump shouted at him.
“Well, I’m not in charge!” Milley yelled back.
“You can’t f—ing talk to me like that!” Trump said. …
“Goddamnit,” Milley said to others. “There’s a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?”
“He’s right, Mr. President,” Barr said. “The general is right.” …”
Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act to quell the George Floyd riots. Gen. Mark Milley and AG William Barr told him that as president that he didn’t have the legal authority to do so.
Jared Kushner and his team consisting of Ja’Ron Smith and Brooke Rollins also convinced Trump not to invoke the Insurrection Act to quell the George Floyd riots because doing so would look “racist.” They later came up with the Platinum Plan and arranged Trump’s pardon of Lil Wayne.
“Although they did not know it at first, Americans almost immediately became intimately acquainted with Rollins’ Koch-approved approach to crime. Behind the scenes, Rollins and Kushner continue to advise Trump to go soft on those engaged in violence across the country.
“The president has signaled that he would very much like to crack down on rioters,” Carlson said on June 1. “That is his instinct. If you’ve watched him you believe it. But every time he has been talked out of it by Jared Kushner and by aides that Kushner has hired and controlled.” Rollins is one of those aides for whom murder, mayhem, and madness constitute a small price to pay for the reforms that are in the interest of her backers.
A few hours after Carlson’s segment, before dawn on Tuesday, a retired African American police captain named David Dorn was murdered by looters while trying to protect his friend’s pawn shop in St. Louis. Dorn died in a pool of his own blood while a bystander broadcasted his final moments on Facebook Live. As another community grieved, Trump went along with the advice of Rollins and Kushner to hold back on invoking the Insurrection Act to end the riots.
The political calculus behind inaction is as cynical as it is simple. It’s also flawed.
Kushner and Rollins believe that Trump’s base will not flip for his opponent, no matter how badly they are abused and betrayed. “Where will they go?” Kushner reportedly likes to say. …”
In his last months in office, Trump gave the official order to withdraw troops from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia and Germany. He had ordered the withdrawal of American troops from Syria before, but Lindsay Graham, Bibi Netanyahu, John Bolton and the generals went to work on him and got their way. Gen. Mark Milley was appalled by Trump’s order to bring the troops home.
“News of the memo spread quickly throughout the Pentagon. Top military brass, including Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, were appalled. This was not the way to conduct policy — with no consultation, no input, no process for gaming out consequences or offering alternatives. …
Trump had a deep fascination with military rank and prestige, and he initially held an image of both Mattis and Milley as unreconstructed 1940s generals. He based this image almost entirely on their appearance — “straight out of central casting,” Trump would say — and in Mattis’ case, his ill-fitting nickname “Mad Dog.” In reality, these two four-star generals disagreed with Trump on everything from the morality of torture to the wisdom of sending active-duty troops onto American streets. …
There, O’Brien, Miller, and Milley all aligned against the plan. They painted a vivid picture of Kabul falling to the Taliban if U.S. forces withdrew precipitously in the final days of the Trump presidency. …
Had Milley not resisted the initial 2,500 plan, Trump might not have felt the need to sign the back-channel order. In the view of Trump’s mistrusting inner circle, this was typical of Pentagon leadership: Delay key decisions by disputing that strategic meetings had led to consensus, insist the process was still ongoing, and leak apocalyptic scenarios to the media. …”
Trump tried to use the military to quell the George Floyd riots and tried to withdraw troops from foreign war zones. Ultimately, he surrounded himself with people who were completely opposed to his governing agenda. He even endorsed Mitt Romney who voted for his impeachment. He was a weak leader who was easily played and who didn’t have the will to stand up to the people who were in the way of accomplishing his goals. The only person whose career he truly destroyed was Jeff Sessions.