After the 2020 election, Army General Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, compared President Donald Trump to Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and Trump’s supporters in the MAGA movement to Nazi brownshirts. This only further underscores conservative fears about President Joe Biden’s efforts to root out “extremism” in the military.
“Milley told his staff that he believed Trump was stoking unrest, possibly in hopes of an excuse to invoke the Insurrection Act and call out the military,” Washington Post reporters Carol Leaning and Philip Rucker wrote in their forthcoming book I Alone Can Fix It, CNN reported.
According to the book, Milley feared Trump would launch a coup and he prepared a plan to get the army to resign en masse rather than prevent the peaceful transition of power.
“They may try, but they’re not going to f**king succeed,” Milley reportedly told his deputies. “You can’t do this without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI. We’re the guys with the guns.”
Milley reportedly viewed Trump as “the classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.” He drew parallels between Hitler’s rhetoric and Trump’s worries about the 2020 election.
“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides, referring to the 1933 episode when the German parliament caught fire. Historians disagree on the ultimate cause of the fire (many claim the Nazis themselves set it), but Hitler blamed the communists and used the fire as an excuse to suspend the civil liberties of Germans.
Milley said Trump was following “the gospel of the Führer.”
In the lead-up to a pro-Trump “Million MAGA March” protest in November, Milley compared the protesters to the Nazi “brownshirts,” the militia that fueled Hitler’s rise to power. The Joint Chiefs chairman told staff that he feared the protest “could be the modern American equivalent of ‘brownshirts in the streets.'”
The Joint Chiefs chairman has refused to publicly address issues raised in the book, a defense official told CNN. The official added that the general was not calling Trump a Nazi but he did insist that he had no choice but to respond to what he considered dangerous rhetoric from Trump and his supporters.
The CNN report claims that Milley “comes off in a positive light as someone who tried to keep democracy alive because he believed it was on the brink of collapse after receiving a warning one week after the election from an old friend.”
Yet Milley’s decision to compare Trump to Hitler and his remarks about Trump supporters should raise alarm bells.
Trump arguably should not have claimed that he won the 2020 election in a landslide. However, he was right to raise concerns about the election irregularities that plagued the 2020 election. Election officials loosened election integrity protections during the 2020 election, in the name of allowing voters to vote amid a pandemic. In a shameless sleight-of-hand, Democrats have now condemned efforts to return to the status quo as “Jim Crow on steroids.”
Trump also had good reasons to be suspicious. Not only did Big Tech and the legacy media team up to bury news that reflected poorly on Joe Biden, but Time magazine published an astonishing story about a “cabal” and a “shadow campaign” that pulled the levers behind the scenes in the 2020 election. While the article claims these efforts aimed at preserving a free and fair election, organizations like the Center for Tech and Civic Life funneled money into blue areas of the country, boosting turnout that helped Biden prevail.
While Trump may have gone too far in claiming that he won the election, he did not encourage a violent insurrection, much less a coup. Even on January 6, Trump told his supporters to remain peaceful for the protest at the Capitol. The president ultimately condemned the Capitol riot and he did leave the White House peacefully, allowing for the transition of power.
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff should think rationally about the commander in chief, rather than indulging in partisan fear mongering about him. Milley’s absurd Hitler comparisons suggest that the general started to imbibe the Left’s “Trump Derangement Syndrome.” The general’s decision to defend Marxist critical race theory and to use CRT talking points to trash the Constitution’s Three-Fifths Compromise also suggests a creeping leftist perspective.
The Joint Chiefs chairman’s remarks about Trump supporters may be even more terrifying, however. President Joe Biden has launched an effort to root “extremism” out of the military, based partially on the fact that some veterans took part in the Capitol riot. While the Department of Defense has not issued a definition of “extremism,” military whistleblowers have raised concerns about CRT materials in trainings and a provisional Army definition gives conservatives reasons to fear ideological targeting.
If the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff saw Trump supporters as Nazi brownshirts, how does that not bode ill for conservatives in the military? While it is heartening to hear that the military would not go along with a coup against the Constitution, there is no evidence that Trump had planned such a coup and he certainly never attempted to execute it. CNN should not praise Milley for comparing Trump to Hitler — the outlet should rather repent its own shameful fear mongering against the former president.