House spokeswoman Nancy Pelosi told the US Army top general that then-President Donald Trump was a “dictator” who “should have been arrested on the spot” after attempting his coup to stay in the White House “Capitol Insurrection,” by instigation of January 6th, unveiled a new book.
Pelosi also said during a January phone call with Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Mike Milley that “the Republicans have blood on their hands” for facilitating Trump’s delusions about his ability to hold the presidency, it said in the book.
“But it is a sad state of affairs for our country that we have been taken over by a dictator who uses force against another branch of government,” Pelosi, a California Democrat, told Milley during the call to “Peril,” a few days after the uprising new book by Washington Post journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
US President Donald Trump gestures as he speaks during a rally to contest the certification of the results of the 2020 US presidential election by the US Congress in Washington, USA, on January 6, 2021.
Jim Bourg | Reuters
“And he’s still sitting there. He should have been arrested. He should have been arrested on the spot,” said Pelosi, who is second in order of presidential succession.
“He had a coup d’état against us so he could stay in office. There should be a way to remove him,” said the spokesman, who then tried to get Trump’s power as president suspended by then – Vice-President Mike Pence and the Trump cabinet to trigger the 25th amendment to the constitution.
The book states that Milley believed that the Trump supporters’ uprising on Jan. 6 was a planned, coordinated attack aimed at overthrowing the U.S. government to prevent Congress from electing Joe Biden to confirm to the president.
The uprising began shortly after Trump called on the crowd at a rally outside the White House to march to the Capitol and fight against confirmation of Biden’s election victory. The invasion delayed Biden’s confirmation by hours and resulted in five direct deaths.
The book states that Milley feared that even after the uprising Trump might still be looking for what the general called a “Reichstag moment,” an indication that Nazi leader Adolf Hitler after the fire in that nation’s parliament building 1933 took full power in Germany.
The book describes Milley’s efforts to prevent Trump from starting a nuclear war or launching another military attack in his final days in office.
He told Pelosi that “this president, or any president without proper certification, has no chance of a snowball, or any president can fire nuclear weapons illegally, immorally or unethically,” the book says.
But after the call, MIlley, who “had no absolute certainty that the military could control or trust Trump,” held a meeting with senior officers at the National Military Command Center to review nuclear weapons firing procedures.
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Only the president could order such an operation, he reminded the officers, but told them that as chairman of the chiefs of staff, according to the book, he would have to be involved in arranging take-offs.
Then he walked across the room and had each officer verbally confirm that he had understood him, the authors wrote.
The authors also wrote that Pence called former Vice President Dan Quayle in December to discuss the pressure he was feeling from Trump to block Biden’s victory.
Pence asked Quayle, his Indiana Republican, if it would be possible to intervene as chairman of the upcoming joint session of Congress on Jan. 6 to ensure that all of the 270 votes required by Biden would not be confirmed, which in turn would throw the selection next President in the House of Representatives.
While the Democrats held a simple majority of the seats in the House of Representatives, the Republicans held a majority of the state’s congressional delegations that would determine the outcome of the election.
“Mike, you have no flexibility,” Quayle said according to the book. “No. Zero. Forget it.
Pence then reportedly said he told Trump so, but the president believed it was possible, as did other unnamed people.
“You don’t, just stop it,” said Quayle, who in 1993 chaired the joint session of Congress as Vice President that upheld the election of Bill Clinton, who defeated then President George HW Bush.
The book also reveals that on October 30, four days before election day, Milley called his military counterpart in China, General Li Zuocheng of the People’s Liberation Army, because intelligence revealed that Chinese officials believed the US was attacking their country.
The conversation came when Trump had repeatedly blamed China for the Covid 19 pandemic during election campaigns.
“General Li, I want to assure you that the American government is stable and everything will be fine,” Milley said, according to the book. “We will not attack or carry out any kinetic operations against you.”
Li replied, “Okay.”
“I’ll take you at your word,” said Li, according to the book.
Milley did not tell Trump about the phone call, the authors reported.