Ex-10th leader wrote Trump was doing ‘great and irreparable harm’
WASHINGTON, D.C. (WWNY) - He never sent the letter.
But in a draft resignation letter, former 10th Mountain Division commander Mark Milley made sure then-President Trump knew exactly where he stood.
The letter is reported in a new book, The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017-2021. Milley was Commanding General of the 10th Mountain Division between November 2011 and December 2012.
According to the book, Milley prepared his resignation in the days after a June 2020 incident, in which he accompanied then-President Trump from the White House to near-by Lafayette Square, after it was forcefully cleared of protestors.
Milley later apologized for his role in the incident, and according to the book, prepared to resign.
In part, the letter read:
“It is my belief that you were doing great and irreparable harm to my country. I believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military.”
“Second, you are using the military to create fear in the minds of the people—and we are trying to protect the American people. I cannot stand idly by and participate in that attack, verbally or otherwise, on the American people. "
“You’re ruining the international order, and causing significant damage to our country overseas, that was fought for so hard by the Greatest Generation that they instituted in 1945.
“You don’t understand what the war was all about. In fact, you subscribe to many of the principles that we fought against. And I cannot be a party to that. It is with deep regret that I hereby submit my letter of resignation.”
Milley was talked out of resigning, and remained as the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
From the start, the book reports, there were serious disagreements between Milley and then-President Trump.
“On Afghanistan, Milley said he believed that a complete withdrawal of American troops, as Trump wanted, would cause a serious new set of problems. And Milley had already spoken out publicly against the banning of transgender troops, which Trump was insisting on.
“Mattis tells me you are weak on transgender,” Trump said.
“No, I am not weak on transgender,” Milley replied. “I just don’t care who sleeps with who,”” the book reports.
And as his relationship with then-President Trump worsened, Milley, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows held daily phone calls to secure a peaceful transfer of power from President Trump to President-elect Biden.
Former President Trump’s reaction to the reporting in the book? ““These (the generals he appointed early on in his administration) were very untalented people and once I realized it, I did not rely on them, I relied on the real generals and admirals within the system,” he said in a statement.
The former president also said he picked Milley only because James Mattis - another general he had a falling out with - “could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him.”
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