Donald Trump came out swinging on Wednesday in response to embattled Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley’s claim that the Army leader yelled at the then-commander-in-chief during a situation room meeting.
In a scathing statement, Trump called on Milley, who has raised ire for his defense of teaching critical race theory in the military, to resign.
The incident, reported this week by Axios, is alleged in a new book by Wall Street Journal scribe Michael Bender. In the book’s account, Trump asked Milley to deploy active-duty troops to quell last summer’s protests in Washington, DC. What supposedly followed was a profanity-laced exchange between the president and the general. Also allegedly present at the meeting was former Attorney General Bill Barr, who, according to the book, took Milley’s side of the argument.
But according to Trump, that is simply false. “Milley made-up a false story that he yelled at me in the Situation Room. This is totally Fake News. If he had displayed such disrespect for his Commander-in-Chief I would have fired him immediately,” Trump’s statement read. He went on to say, “Gen. Milley ought to resign, and be replaced with someone who is actually willing to defend our Military from the Leftist Radicals who hate our Country and our Flag.”
This appears to be a double swipe from the 45th president referring not just to Milley’s attitude toward DC’s leftist protests last year but also to his defense of “anti-racism” training in the military that many GOP members of Congress, including Reps. Matt Gaetz and Michael Waltz of Florida, have harshly criticized.
Trump, who visited the US-Mexico border Wednesday along with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, has been playing offense over the past few days. Last week, he held a rally in Ohio, and earlier this week harshly criticized the mayoral election debacle in New York City. Next week he is set to speak at the Conservative Political Action Conference, also in Texas.
Trump’s high profile of late has fueled speculation about a third run for the former president, who is already playing an active role in the 2022 midterm campaign amid other rumors that he is interested in becoming the next speaker of the House of Representatives.
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