According to the latest excerpt of a provocative new book
, then-President Donald Trump
blew up at Gen. Mark Milley during a heated confrontation amid Black Lives Matter
protests last year, yelling, "You can't fucking talk to me that way."
According to an excerpt obtained by Axios
from “Frankly, We Did Win This Election
: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” the two men clashed in a tense Situation Room meeting after Trump made “exaggerated claims about the violence and alarmed officials” by saying he’d put Milley in charge of countering protests.
In a separate Oval Office meeting, Trump told the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
that he wanted the military
to “beat the fuck out of” Black Lives Matter protesters “or shoot them,” according to an earlier excerpt obtained by CNN
. When Milley objected, Trump responded, “Well, shoot them in the leg or maybe in the foot,” author and Wall Street
Journal reporter Michael C. Bender reported.
Trump told then-Defense Secretary Mark Esper and Attorney General William Barr
in the Situation Room that he had put Milley in charge of dealing with the protesters, but Milley reportedly explained to Trump that as commander in chief, the president was in charge and he was only an adviser.
According to the book excerpt, Trump told him, "'I said you're in fucking charge!'"
When Milley responded, "I'm not in charge!" Trump yelled back, "You can't fucking talk to me like that!" Bender wrote.
′′‘Goddamnit,’ Milley said to the others, ‘there’s a room full of lawyers here; will someone notify him of my legal responsibilities?’” Bender wrote.
′′‘He's right, Mr. President, the general is right,'" Barr said.
Trump denied the account to Axios, calling it "totally false news
." He said he "never had an argument with Milley" and that the general "never talked back to me." Trump later said, "If Gen. Milley had yelled at me, I would have fired him."
Bender told Axios that “multiple senior administration officials” confirmed the incident and that Trump never responded to the writer
’s request for his version of events.
“You see these generals lately on television
? They are woke,” Trump said at an Ohio
rally on Saturday.
Axios reached out to Milley for comment, but she did not respond.
According to Bender's book, when it came to Black Lives Matter protesters, Trump showed them videos of police
" with them and told them he wanted to see more of it.
“That’s how you’re supposed to deal with these people
,” Bender wrote, claiming Trump instructed top law enforcement
and military officials to “crack their skulls!”
According to The New York Times
, Trump considered using the Insurrection
Act to mobilize troops to put down protests, and White House
aides even drafted a proclamation to invoke the act, but Trump never took action.
The complete Axios excerpt can be found here.