The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, took top-secret actions to prevent former President Donald Trump from using nuclear weapons, a new book says.
General Milley took it upon himself, just two days after the 6 January Capitol riot, to limit Mr Trump’s ability to order a military strike.
Watergate journalist Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, both of The Washington Post, report in their new book Peril that General Milley was thoroughly disturbed by the attack on the Capitol and that he “was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies”.
Mr Woodward and Mr Costa also write that Gen Milley was worried that Mr Trump may “go rogue,” CNN reported.
The book says Gen Milley told his top staffers: “You never know what a president’s trigger point is.”
The top military leader hosted a secret meeting in his office at the Pentagon on 8 January to review the process for initiating military action, including the launching of nuclear weapons.
Gen Milley told the officials in charge of the Pentagon’s war room – the National Military Command Center – not to follow any orders unless he was involved.
According to Peril, Gen Milley told the officials: “No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure.”
He then asked each of the officers to verbally confirm that they understood as he looked them in the eye.
“Got it?” Gen Milley asked.
“Yes, sir,” the officials responded.