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.
‘Milley thought-about it an oath,’ the authors write.
Woodward and Costa obtained paperwork, calendars, diaries, emails, assembly notes, transcripts and different data.
‘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.
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.”
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.
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.
‘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.
“This is a highly dangerous situation. We are going to lash out for his ego?” she requested Milley, in accordance to the ebook.
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.
“Your team is a bunch of clowns,” he informed Trump.
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.
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’
“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.
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.
“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.
Top officers informed the authors that Trump’s outbursts reminded them of “Full Metal Jacket” at occasions and “Doctor Strangelove” at others.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”