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

“You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley informed his senior workers, in accordance to the ebook.

In response, Milley took extraordinary action, and known as a secret assembly in his Pentagon workplace on January 8 to overview the method for navy action, together with launching nuclear weapons. Speaking to senior navy officers answerable for the National Military Command Center, the Pentagon’s warfare room, Milley instructed them not to take orders from anybody except he was concerned.

“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley informed the officers, in accordance to the ebook. He then went across the room, appeared every officer within the eye, and requested them to verbally verify they understood.

“Got it?” Milley requested, in accordance to the ebook.

“Yes, sir.”

‘Milley thought-about it an oath,’ the authors write.

“Peril” is predicated on greater than 200 interviews with firsthand individuals and witnesses, and it paints a chilling image of Trump’s final days in workplace. The ebook, Woodward’s third on the Trump presidency, recounts behind-the-scenes moments of a commander in chief unhinged and explosive, yelling at senior advisers and aides as he desperately sought to cling to energy.
It additionally consists of unique reporting on the occasions main up to January 6 and Trump’s response to the revolt, in addition to newly revealed particulars about Trump’s January 5 Oval Office showdown along with his vice chairman, Mike Pence.

Woodward and Costa obtained paperwork, calendars, diaries, emails, assembly notes, transcripts and different data.

The ebook additionally examines Joe Biden’s resolution to run for workplace once more; the primary six months of his presidency; why he pushed so exhausting to get out of Afghanistan; and the way he actually feels about Trump. NCS obtained a duplicate of “Peril” forward of its launch on September 21.

‘You know he is loopy’

Milley’s worry was based mostly on his personal observations of Trump’s erratic habits. His concern was magnified by the occasions of January 6 and the ‘extraordinary threat’ the state of affairs posed to US nationwide safety, the authors write. Milley had already had two back-channel telephone calls with China’s high common, who was on excessive alert over the chaos within the US.

Then Milley obtained a blunt phone call from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, in accordance to the ebook. Woodward and Costa solely obtained a transcript of the decision, throughout which Milley tried to reassure Pelosi that the nuclear weapons have been secure.

Pelosi pushed again.

“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.”

Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, top center, watches as President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, December 2019.Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, top center, watches as President Donald Trump signs the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020 at Andrews Air Force Base, Maryland, December 2019.

After the decision, Milley determined he had to act. He informed his high service chiefs to watch every thing “all the time.” He known as the director of the National Security Agency, Paul Nakasone, and informed him, “Needles up … keep watching, scan.” And he informed then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, “Aggressively watch everything, 360.”

The authors write, ‘Milley was overseeing the mobilization of America’s nationwide safety state with out the data of the American individuals or the remainder of the world.’

Woodward and Costa additionally write that ‘some may contend that Milley had overstepped his authority and brought extraordinary energy for himself,’ however he believed his actions have been ‘an excellent religion precaution to guarantee there was no historic rupture within the worldwide order, no unintended warfare with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons.’

Trump going rogue

Milley’s worry that Trump could do one thing unpredictable got here from expertise. Right after Trump misplaced the election, Milley found the President had signed a navy order to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by January 15, 2021, earlier than he left the White House.

The memo had been secretly drafted by two Trump loyalists. No one on the nationwide safety group knew about it, in accordance to the ebook. The memo was finally nullified, however Milley could not overlook that Trump had completed an finish run round his high navy advisers.

Woodward and Costa write that after January 6, Milley ‘felt no absolute certainty that the navy could management or belief Trump and believed it was his job because the senior navy officer to suppose the unthinkable and take any and all mandatory precautions.’

Milley known as it the ‘absolute darkest second of theoretical risk,’ the authors write.

“Peril” is one in every of a number of books launched this yr which have documented the tumultuous remaining days of Trump’s presidency. In “I Alone Can Fix It,” Washington Post reporters Phil Rucker and Carol Leonnig detailed how Milley discussed a plan with the Joint Chiefs to resist potential illegal orders from Trump amid fears that he or his allies may try a coup.

‘Wag the Dog’

Woodward and Costa write that high nationwide safety officers have been fearful Trump may pull a “Wag the Dog” — scary a battle domestically or overseas to distract from his crushing election loss.

When Trump refused to concede in November 2020, Haspel warned Milley, “We are on the way to a right-wing coup. The whole thing is insanity. He is acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum.” Haspel additionally fearful that Trump would strive to attack Iran.

“This is a highly dangerous situation. We are going to lash out for his ego?” she requested Milley, in accordance to the ebook.

President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on November 26, 2020.President Donald Trump speaks in the Diplomatic Room of the White House on November 26, 2020.

Even a few of Trump’s most loyal advisers privately expressed concern after the election. Then-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo informed Milley that Trump was “in a very dark place right now.”

Milley had only one objective: making certain a peaceable switch of energy on January 20. As he informed Pompeo, “We’ve got a plane with four engines and three of them are out. We’ve got no landing gear. But we’re going to land this plane and we’re going to land it safely.”

‘We’re going to bury Biden on January sixth’

“Peril” affords a behind-the-scenes account of Trump’s refusal to concede the election and the way these round him tried — and failed — to comprise his desperation.

On November 4, the day after the election, Trump appeared privately prepared to acknowledge defeat, asking adviser Kellyanne Conway, “How the hell did we lose the vote to Joe Biden?” But after making telephone calls to loyalists, together with Rudy Giuliani, Trump embraced the false and damaging conspiracy theories of election fraud.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump took a lightweight contact, the authors write, and Kushner informed aides he didn’t need to be the purpose individual for an intervention. Then-Attorney General William Barr tried to discuss sense into Trump, telling him the claims of fraud were bogus. “The problem is this stuff about the voting machines is just bullshit,” Barr stated, in accordance to the ebook.

“Your team is a bunch of clowns,” he informed Trump.

President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021.President Donald Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani speaks to supporters from The Ellipse near the White House on January 6, 2021.
According to the ebook, a key determine from Trump’s earliest days as president reemerged: former White House adviser Steve Bannon. The authors write that Bannon, who had been indicted in April 2020 and later pardoned by Trump, performed a vital position within the occasions main up to January 6.

On December 30, Bannon satisfied Trump to come again to the White House from Mar-a-Lago to put together for the occasions of January 6, the date Congress would certify the election outcomes.

“You’ve got to return to Washington and make a dramatic return today,” Bannon informed Trump, in accordance to the ebook. “You’ve bought to name Pence off the fucking ski slopes and get him again right here immediately. This is a disaster.”

The authors write that Bannon informed Trump that January 6 was “the moment for reckoning.”

“People are going to go, ‘What the fuck is going on here?’ ” Bannon believed. “We’re going to bury Biden on January 6th, fucking bury him,” Bannon stated.

Trump to Pence: ‘I do not need to be your good friend anymore’

“Peril” additionally describes the tense encounter within the Oval Office on January 5 when Trump pressured Pence to overturn the outcomes of the election. While the showdown went on inside, the 2 males could hear MAGA supporters cheering and chanting outdoors close to Pennsylvania Avenue.

“If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?” Trump requested.

“I wouldn’t want any one person to have that authority,” Pence stated.

“But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?” Trump requested, in accordance to Woodward and Costa.

“No,” Pence stated. He went on, “I’ve done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It’s simply not possible.”

When Pence didn’t budge, Trump turned on him.

“No, no, no!” Trump shouted, in accordance to the authors. “You don’t understand, Mike. You can do this. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”

Trump known as Pence once more the morning of January 6. “If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago,” Trump stated, in accordance to the authors. “You’re going to wimp out,” he stated, his anger seen to others within the workplace.

Even although Pence stood up to Trump in the end, “Peril” reveals that after 4 years of abject loyalty, he struggled with the choice. Woodward and Costa write that Pence reached out to Dan Quayle, who had been the vice chairman to George H.W. Bush, in search of his recommendation.
Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Springs Church to campaign for GOP Senate candidates  on January 4, 2021 in Milner, Georgia.Vice President Mike Pence speaks during a visit to Rock Springs Church to campaign for GOP Senate candidates  on January 4, 2021 in Milner, Georgia.

Over and over, Pence requested if there was something he could do.

“Mike, you have no flexibility on this. None. Zero. Forget it. Put it away,” Quayle informed him.

Pence pressed once more.

“You don’t know the position I’m in,” he stated, in accordance to the authors.

“I do know the position you’re in,” Quayle responded. “I also know what the law is. You listen to the parliamentarian. That’s all you do. You have no power.”

‘You actually ought to do a tweet’

According to the authors, Trump ignored repeated requests by each workers and his daughter Ivanka Trump to name off the rioters on the Capitol on January 6.

In one episode, retired Gen. Keith Kellogg, who served as Pence’s nationwide safety adviser, was within the White House with Trump whereas he watched the revolt unfold on tv.

Kellogg urged Trump to act.

Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who advises Donald Trump on foreign policy and military issues, speaks to the media in the lobby at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City.Retired Lt. Gen. Keith Kellogg, who advises Donald Trump on foreign policy and military issues, speaks to the media in the lobby at Trump Tower, November 15, 2016 in New York City.

“You really should do a tweet,” Kellogg stated, in accordance to the authors. “You need to get a tweet out real quick, help control the crowd up there. This is out of control. They’re not going to be able to control this. Sir, they’re not prepared for it. Once a mob starts turning like that, you’ve lost it.”

“Yeah,” Trump stated. The authors write, ‘Trump blinked and saved watching tv.’

Ivanka Trump additionally repeatedly tried to intervene, speaking to her father thrice. “Let this thing go,” she informed him. “Let it go,” she stated, in accordance to the ebook.

Rage 2.0

Woodward’s earlier ebook on Trump was called “Rage,” however “Peril,” stuffed with expletive-laced shouting matches, takes the craze up a notch.

Top officers informed the authors that Trump’s outbursts reminded them of “Full Metal Jacket” at occasions and “Doctor Strangelove” at others.

In June 2020, after Black Lives Matter protests close to the White House, Trump lit into then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who had simply introduced at a information convention that he opposed invoking the Insurrection Act in response to the protests.

“You took away my authority!” Trump screamed at Esper within the Oval Office. “You’re not the president! I’m the goddamn president.”

But Trump wasn’t completed, in accordance to the ebook, turning to the remainder of his group within the room. “You’re all fucked up,” he yelled. “Everybody. You’re all fucked. Every one of you is fucked up!”

In the aftermath of the election, Trump’s rage was directed at Barr for daring to even point out the incoming Biden administration.

US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (left), US President Donald Trump, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark A. Milley (right) wait for a meeting with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in October 2019. US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper (left), US President Donald Trump, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark A. Milley (right) wait for a meeting with senior military leaders in the Cabinet Room of the White House in October 2019.

“First part of the Biden administration!” Trump shouted, in accordance to the authors. Trump was so mad, Barr thought, ‘if a human being can have flames come out of his ears, this was it,’ Woodward and Costa write.

The ebook additionally reveals that Trump remains to be offended with Republicans who blamed him for the revolt, together with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy.

“This guy called me every single day, pretended to be my best friend, and then, he fucked me. He’s not a good guy,” Trump stated, in accordance to the ebook.

While McCarthy has walked back his preliminary feedback after the revolt, Trump is quoted as dismissing McCarthy’s attempts to get back into his good graces.

“Kevin came down to kiss my ass and wants my help to win the House back,” Trump stated, in accordance to the authors.

The ebook ends with Trump allies speculating about his plans for 2024. Privately, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is quoted as saying, “if he wants to run, then he’s going to have to deal with his personality problems … we’ve got a very damaged team captain.”

But in a dialog with Trump immediately, Graham was much more optimistic.

“You’ve been written off as dead because of January the 6th. The conventional wisdom is that the Republican Party, under your leadership, has collapsed,” Graham informed Trump, in accordance to the ebook. Graham continued, telling Trump that if “you came back to take the White House, it would be the biggest comeback in American history.”

In July, Trump’s former marketing campaign supervisor Brad Parscale, who had been demoted after which stepped aside from the campaign in September 2020, requested the query.

“Sir, are you going to run?”

“I’m thinking about it … I’m really strongly thinking about running,” Trump stated, in accordance to the ebook.

“He had an army. An army for Trump. He wants that back,” Parscale later informed others. “I don’t think he sees it as a comeback. He sees it as vengeance.”



Sources