Did Milley Usurp Trump's Power as Commander in Chief? Top Republican Lawmakers Want Answers

AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Not only does the Jan. 6 Capitol riot continue to garner national media attention; the plot continues to thicken, as well. And nowhere is it thicker than in reports that Joint Chiefs Chairman Mark Milley took top-secret action to preempt then-President Donald Trump from launching a nuclear strike. No, really.


Why Trump would’ve reached a point that would have led him to think that launching a military strike — particularly a nuclear strike — would help strengthen his case about a “rigged” and “stolen” election is beyond my capacity for logical thinking. But let’s entertain the idea and continue with the rest of the story.

The story began publicly in September 2021, when CNN reported on the then-new book “Peril” by investigative “journalist” Bob Woodward and veteran Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, in which the authors claimed Milley worried that Trump could “go rogue.”

As written in “Peril,” Milley called a secret meeting on January 8, 2022, with senior military leaders. “You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.

During that meeting, Milley instructed officials in charge of the National Military Command Center not to take orders from anyone — including Trump — unless he (Milley) was involved, according to CNN. “No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure.”

Woodward and Costa wrote, predictably so: “Milley considered it an oath.”

Fast forward to Saturday, July 16, 2022.


For more than a year, Milley has apparently also considered it an oath to repeatedly dodge questions, if not outright ignore them, about the allegations in Woodward and Costa’s book. Moreover, as reported by Breitbart, top Republican lawmakers have had enough of the TDS-riddled chairman’s alleged stonewalling. Mlley told members of Congress after the book was released that he would review the allegations in the book and get back to them on their accuracy or lack thereof.

Despite repeated requests, Milley has shockingly [sarcasm] failed to honor his word.

Speaking on the Senate floor, Senator Chuck Grassley made his frustrations with Milley’s lack of response clear, recounting the book’s narrative about Milley’s alleged actions.

Milley allegedly placed military hands — his hands — on controls that belonged exclusively to the president. According to Peril, [he] summoned senior operation officers in the military command center to his office. He had them take ‘an oath’ not to ‘act’ on the president’s orders without checking with him first.

Again, “shocking.” Not to mention entirely believable, given Milley’s past behavior in respect to Trump.

Grassley forcefully continued:

These brazen words and actions, if accurate, strike at the heart of our democracy — civilian control of the military. They turn this guiding rule upside down and show utter contempt for the commander-in-chief coming from the nation’s top general. They are dangerous and contrary to military code 10 US Code 888.


Grassley also said Milley assured him in a letter his actions were on the “up and up.”


Grassley explained that he began sending handwritten notes to Milley, finally receiving a ten-page response — in which the chairman entirely ignored his questions. He went on to say in a later email that Grassley had never raised direct questions.

“I think I can legitimately ask,” Grassley said, “is that Pentagon baloney, or what is it?”

Grassley called B.S. on Milley’s claim:

I think Gen. Milley knows better. He knows the score. […] However, to date, not a peep from the general. His silence speaks volumes. Something doesn’t smell just right. As a Pentagon watchdog, when I get a whiff of wrongdoing, I sink in my teeth and don’t let go.

So Congressman Jim Banks, a member of the House Armed Services Committee, and I upped the ante on April the 11th with 12 pointed questions. We gave Gen. Milley a second bite at the apple to clear the air. Now, two and a half months later, we still have no response.

Gen. Milley […]  Honor your word and so the questions come clean with the American people. We are all ears.

Congressman Banks was just as clear, and even more adamant, on the floor of the House:

Our Constitution is clear: the president is the commander-in-chief. Sidestepping the president and violating the chain of command is a grave crime.

According to Bob Woodward’s book Peril, Gen. Mark Milley directed senior military officers NOT to follow the president’s orders, unless Gen. Milley approved them first.

When I asked Gen. Milley about Peril at an Armed Services hearing, he claimed he hadn’t READ it. Convenient. So Sen. Chuck Grassley and I sent a letter to Gen. Milley, asking him to verify or refute the books’ claims.

He hasn’t responded. I am calling on Gen. Milley to set the record straight. Gen. Milley is accused of secretly SEIZING the president’s military powers. That is the most serious crime. If he is innocent, he has a duty to say so.


Tough spot for the chairman of the joint chiefs. Particularly given Milley’s obvious disdain for Trump. Needless to say, Trump’s opinion of Milley is mutual.

The bottom line:

Woodward being Woodward and Costa being Costa, despite Mark Milley’s potential usurping of Trump’s executive power, the authors did their hypocritical best to rationalize and justify Milley’s actions.

Some might contend that Milley had overstepped his authority and taken extraordinary power for himself,” they wrote but said the chairman believed his actions were “a good faith precaution to ensure there was no historic rupture in the international order, no accidental war with China or others, and no use of nuclear weapons,” as Milley “felt no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump.

Might contend? Woodward and Costa believe Milley did exactly what their book alleges.

They also know, as Sen. Grassley clearly pointed out, that those actions were dangerous and contrary to military code 10 US Code 888.

There is nothing contending about it, Jack — I thought I’d toss in a little Bidenese, for effect — the authors’ blatant hypocrisy, based solely on political biases, renders them incapable of seeing the truth, much less “reporting” it.



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