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Donald Trump And Supporters Attempting To Undermine Criminal Charges Ahead of Federal Court Appearance This Week

Donald Trump and his allies are taking extra steps to undermine the criminal charges made against him as the former president prepares for his history-making federal court appearance where he’s facing dozens of felony charges for illegally hoarding classified information.

trump

Trump To Surrender In New York After Being Indicted 

Former US President Donald Trump is scheduled to fly to New York City on Monday, following his recent indictment, before his scheduled arraignment regarding the hush money he paid to an adult film star before the 2016 election. 

Security in Manhattan is currently increasing as they prepare for Trump to be arraigned, fingerprinted, and photographed at the downtown Manhattan courthouse this Tuesday. Trump is the first former US president to face criminal charges; his lawyers are stating that he will be pleading not guilty. 

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Tuesday’s arraignment will be the first time Trump appears in court and in front of a judge in this case. The specific charges included in this case have not been disclosed to the public. 

According to social media reports, Trump is planning to leave his Mar-a-Lago estate in Palm Beach Monday to head for Trump Tower in Manhattan before the arraignment Tuesday morning. Trump’s office also reported that he will be returning to Florida Tuesday evening to deliver remarks Tuesday evening. 

New York City police began setting up barricades along the edge of sidewalks surrounding Trump Tower this past weekend as well as the Manhattan Criminal Court building. 

According to a statement from the New York Police Department, “officers have been placed on alert and the department remains ready to respond as needed and will ensure everyone is able to peacefully exercise their rights.”

Other courtrooms in the building will be shut down before the arraignment as a part of police security precautions. 

Leading up to the indictment, the grand jury heard evidence regarding a $130,000 payment made to adult film actress Stormy Daniels in 2016, leading up to Trump’s presidential campaign. 

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Daniels claimed she was paid to remain silent regarding a sexual encounter she had with the former president in 2006, a claim Trump has denied. 

This New York case is one of many legal probes against Trump; a prosecutor in Georgia is currently investigating Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election results. 

The US Justice Department has also been investigating Trump’s actions during the 2020 election results, as well as his retention of highly classified documents during his White House exit in the beginning of 2021. 

Joe Tacopina, one of Trump’s lawyers, said on Sunday he “expects more details surrounding the arraignment to be resolved on Monday, the Secret Service, which protects former presidents, also has a role to play on Tuesday.”

“I honestly don’t know how this is going to go – hopefully as smoothly as possible – and then we begin the battle to right this wrong,” Tacopina told CNN.

Tacopina added that Trump’s lawyers “will dissect the indictment once it is made public and will look at every potential issue to challenge. We anticipate making a motion to dismiss the charges at some point.”

social media

Kanye West To Acquire Right-Wing Social Media Platform Parler

Kanye West is acquiring the conservative social media platform Parler. The purchase comes on the heels of West being locked out of his Twitter account earlier this month after a series of anti-Semitic tweets.

The acquisition was announced on Monday and is slated to finalize in the fourth quarter of 2022. The platform will continue to get cloud support and technical services from Parlement Technologies, the parent business of the company, which was formed to give new internet infrastructure services to businesses that “are in danger” of being forced off the internet.

Parler’s CEO, George Farmer, praised West for making the offer to buy the social media platform.

“This deal will change the world and change the way the world thinks about free speech. Ye is making a groundbreaking move into the free speech media space and will never have to fear being removed from social media again. Once again, Ye proves that he is one step ahead of the legacy media narrative. Parlement will be honored to help him achieve his goals.”

West, who legally changed his name to Ye, is the most recent celebrity to take over a social media network. Former President Donald Trump launched his Truth Social app, which is aimed to primarily serve conservative users, in February this year. Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, stated earlier this month that he would proceed with his contentious takeover of Twitter. All three men are renowned for using incendiary language online and credit the motivations of their acquisitions as maintaining an arena for “free speech.” Ye issued a statement that echoed these views.

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“In a world where conservative opinions are considered to be controversial, we have to make sure we have the right to freely express ourselves.”

As of Monday, Ye’s newly created account on the Parler platform had approximately 526 followers.

Ye recently made headlines for wearing a “White Lives Matter” T-shirt during his Paris pop-up fashion show. Several models in the runway show also wore shirts with the same slogan. According to the Anti-Defamation League, the statement is often used by white nationalists. The ADL’s CEO, Jonathan Greenblatt, told CNN that Parler is a “haven” for hate.

After the show, Adidas, who has a partnership with Ye, said it was reviewing its relationship with the rapper.

Parler was founded in 2018 and quickly grew in popularity in the run-up to the 2020 presidential election. According to market research firm Apptopia, the app had an average of 2.9 million daily users at the time thanks to being marketed as a “loosely controlled free-speech refuge.” Since then, the app’s popularity has waned, with Apptopia reporting that the platform’s daily users have dropped to roughly 40,000.

Sarah Mojarad, a professor at the University of Southern California’s engineering school and a misinformation and disinformation research fellow, spoke about why this deal may be attractive to both parties.

“Kanye sees that Elon Musk and Trump are both involved and getting their names out, and he’s looking for some of that attention as well. Parler is also looking for attention and free advertising, and that’s something the platform can gain from this whether or not the deal actually goes through.”

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Following the Jan. 6 insurgency, Parler was removed from the Apple App Store and Google Play for failing to effectively filter violent rhetoric on its platform. Documents obtained by the House committee investigating the riots revealed that the Secret Service was aware of posts on Parler urging for violence that day. Parler wrote to Congress in response, stating that the committee’s interest in the app’s role in the insurgency was an attempt to demonize the app.

Parler has been reinstated in both app stores following changes to its moderation policies. As of September, the platform had received $56 million in funding from investors.

Dan Wang, a strategy professor at Columbia Business School, said it is important to note that Parler is an “incredibly niche” player in the social media space.

“Kanye West is a wealthy person and has a lot of resources, but not on the scale of being able to buy actually influential social media platforms.”

trump

Donald Trump Pleads The Fifth, Won’t Answer New York Attorney General’s Questions

In a statement, former President Donald Trump invoked the Fifth Amendment and will not answer any questions under oath in New York Attorney General Letitia James’ civil investigation.

“I once asked, ‘If you’re innocent, why are you taking the Fifth Amendment?’ Now I know the answer to that question,” Trump explained.

“When your family, your company, and all the people in your orbit have become the targets of an unfounded politically motivated Witch Hunt supported by lawyers, prosecutors and the Fake News Media, you have no choice.”

Trump was seen leaving Trump Tower in New York City Wednesday morning, with his motorcade arriving at the attorney general’s office shortly after. Pleading the fifth means that Trump will not have to give a testimony in his own case, one that could be potentially damning.

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The decision comes days after Trump’s Mar-a-Lago residence was raided by the FBI, which he referenced. “If there was any question in my mind, the raid of my home, Mar-a-Lago… wiped out any uncertainty,” the statement read.

Trump’s lengthy statement directed numerous attacks on James, who he claimed has made a career of “maliciously attacking me and my business.”  “James now realizes I built a great company with tremendous value, and her case is a ‘Scam,'” Trump said. “Which is why for years, they haven’t been able to file a single charge.”

“Criminals are running rampant, shooting, slashing, and hurting people on the sidewalks of New York, while she and her Office spend a big percentage of their time and money on their ‘Trump’ vendatta.”

James’ civil investigation sprouts from claims that the Trump Organization misstated the value of assets like skyscrapers and golf courses in order to get better insurance and loan rates. Trump Organization CFO Allen Weisselberg was charged with tax fraud last summer, to which he pleaded not guilty.

In May, James’ office stated the investigation was nearing its end, and that they had collected a substantial amount of evidence – enough to support a lawsuit against Trump, his company, or both parties.

Trump has made numerous attempts to impede the investigation, from refusing to comply with OAG subpoenas to issuing now-dismissed lawsuits. “No one in this country can pick and choose how the law applies to them, and Donald Trump is no exception,” James said.

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Trump’s children, Donald Jr., Ivanka, and Eric have both previously testified, with Eric invoking the Fifth more than 500 times during his 2020 deposition. Both Donald Jr. and Ivanka have testified recently, though it’s unknown whether either invoked the Fifth.

Meanwhile, it remains to be seen whether the Mar-a-Lago probe — which focused on whether Trump took any classified records from his time in the White House — is a predecessor to criminal charges. What specific documents agents were looking for is unknown.

However, Mar-a-Lago isn’t a new hotspot for legal trouble for Trump. The National Archives and Records Administration had previously confirmed to the Department of Justice in February that classified information had been found in 15 boxes at Trump’s Florida home.

Vote

Takeaways From Latest Jan. 6 Hearing: Election Officials Felt Trump’s Pressure

Taking a step back in time to reexamine the pressure former President Donald Trump exerted in order to overturn the 2020 election results, the Jan. 6 Committee heard testimonies from those who endured terrifying and deadly threats originating from those efforts Tuesday.

Looking to show that Trump’s pushes and false claims ultimately led to the domestic terrorism events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, a number of officials from tightly contested battleground states in the election were examined, including one — Wandrea ArShaye “Shaye” Moss, a former Georgia election worker — who Trump accused of committing voter fraud, along with her mother.

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The surveillance footage and accused actions were debunked, but that didn’t stop Moss from being thrown into the fire by conservatives and Trump supporters. The impact from the events clearly affected Moss, whose emotions were evident in the Cannon Caucus Room.

“There were a lot of threats wishing death upon me,” Moss recounted. Moss’s Black skin color also factored into those threats, with one saying to “be thankful it’s 2020 and not 1920.” “A lot of them were racist. A lot of them were just hateful,” she said. Some protesters even attempted to make a citizen’s arrest on Moss’ grandmother.

“It’s turned my life upside down. I no longer give out my business card. I don’t want anyone knowing my name. I don’t go to the grocery store at all. I haven’t been anywhere at all.”

Another official, Arizona House Speaker Rusty Bowers (R), testified he was subjected to constant protesting and smearing outside his home, with one man weilding a pistol. Though supporting Trump in a reelection bid, Bowers explained he did “not want to be a winner by cheating.”

Bowers claimed he was asked by Trump and his attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to find evidence that illegal immigrants and dead people had voted in the 2020 election, along with decertifying Arizona’s electoral votes and replace them with Trump voters.

Biden won Arizona by just .4% (1,672,143 votes). Though Bowers asked to see this evidence of fraud, Trump and Giuliani never presented anything more than just “theories.”

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Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (R) made similar statements to Bowers, saying Trump asked him during a phone call to “give him a break” and find 11,780 votes, enough to help him win by one vote in the state he lost by .3%.

The audio of the phone call was played for the committee, with Trump threatening to Raffensperger that those investigating voter fraud and found to be dishonest by claiming falsehood could face criminal behavior.

“You can’t let that happen, that’s a big risk to you. All of this stuff is very dangerous.”

Raffensperger detailed his intensive investigating of potential fraud, examining one of the 4.9 million total votes after another. “The numbers don’t lie. At the end of the day, President Trump came up short,” he said.

In terms of audience viewing, the American public may not be fully invested in the developments, which could spell trouble for Democrats hoping to use the hearings to sway voters in the upcoming midterms. The first hearing on June 9, treated to a primetime spot, peaked at 20 million viewers.

However, that number has since dropped as hearings take place during the daytime. 23% of voters said they saw, read, or heard a lot about the hearings on June 13 and 16, down 7% from the June 9 hearing.

Donald Trump’s New “Truth Social” App Begins With Stumbles, Reaches #1 On Apple Store

Former President Donald Trump’s newest project, Truth Social, launched Monday as he attempts to create a digital space that — along with rivaling other services like Twitter — will allow his supporters to exercise free speech and “let [their] voices be heard.”

The network — owned by Trump Media & Technology Group (TM&TG) — reached #1 on the App Store’s social networking chart on its release day, and has remained in the spot since, beating out apps such as Meta’s Facebook and Messenger. It also hit the top spot on the free apps chart above Tik Tok, HBO Max, Youtube, and “Talking Ben the Dog.”

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However, Truth Social won’t be immediately available for many. The app was offered for download on the store for a limited number of subscribers who preordered. Others were added to a waiting list and will be given access over the next 10 days.

The network isn’t expected to be open for anybody to download and use until a month later, according to the Associated Press. Despite the controlled number of users to start, the app experienced troubles almost immediately, encountering technical issues that shut out subscribers for hours and prevented some from signing on.

Trump’s vision for a social media network launched after his January 2021 ban from Twitter, where he would frequently tweet. While many felt Trump’s — who possessed around 90 million followers — tweets were always contentious, they became increasingly accusative and controversial throughout the 2020 presidential election amid claims of a rigging.

In the days following the Capitol Riots on Jan. 6, Twitter ruled that Trump’s tweets had violated their “Glorification of Violence” policy and permanently banned him, feeling that his intentions were to incite the public during a tense time in the nation. The network based the ruling off a number of factors, from Trump using “American Patriots” as a way of describing his supporters to the former President writing statements that seemed to infer future disorder.

Looking at Truth Social’s layout from previews, you might be getting deja vu. That’s probably because the format of the network is almost identical to Twitter, from the user’s profile to retweet buttons – a design implementation that’s all but intentional given Trump’s continual grievances with the service. Of course, there are a few obvious changes. For example, “Tweets”  and “Retweets” are now changed to “Truths” and “Re-Truths.”

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AP pointed out that Trump, whose Truth followers sits around 120,000, was notably quiet during the debut. A screenshot showed his only message came from last week: “Get Ready! Your favorite President will see you soon!” However, other conservative members like Arizona State Senator Wendy Rogers and GOP House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy wasted no time promoting Trump’s network.

Investments in TM&TG have seen gigantic hype throughout recent months, with the company being promised $300 million from a publicly traded company that also plans to merge with it, along with pledges from investors of up to $1 billion. However, approval from regulators is needed before TM&TG can access the cash.

Even with the potential fundings and support from party members, it remains to be seen if Truth Social can compete with Twitter and Facebook over the long run. Trump’s actions — such as a third run for Presidency — could certainly aid in beefing up usage.

January 6th House Committee Has ‘Firsthand’ Knowledge Of What Trump Was Doing During Capitol Riot 

The House select committee investigating the January 6th Capitol Hill insurrection has information from multiple sources regarding what former president Donald Trump was doing at the time of the riot. 

A source close to the investigation recently spoke to the media and revealed that there are “a collection of people with relevant information” when it comes to what Trump was doing throughout the insurrection. 

Keith Kellogg, former vice president Mike Pence’s national security adviser, who was also with Trump throughout the riot, was one of the individuals who gave a deposition. Kellogg refused to comment to the media regarding what he testified, as he was sworn under oath. 

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The committee also has text messages and other documents that reveal what Trump was doing during the insurrection. Some of the messages discussed came from Trump’s former chief of staff Mark Meadows, who the House voted to refer to the Justice Department for criminal contempt of Congress after he failed to appear for a deposition. 

Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson and Vice Chairwoman Liz Cheney discussed how the information they gathered works to prove that Trump did nothing to stop the violence during the riot, which they view as a “dereliction of duty.” 

“We have significant testimony that leads us to believe that the White House had been told to do something. We want to verify all of it so that when we produce our report and when we have the hearings, the public will have an opportunity to see for themselves. The only thing I can say, it’s highly unusual for anyone in charge of anything to watch what’s going on and do nothing.”

Cheney discussed how the panel has “firsthand knowledge” that Trump’s daughter, and then senior adviser, Ivanka Trump asked her father to intervene during the riot. 

“We know his daughter — we have firsthand testimony that his daughter Ivanka went in at least twice to ask him to ‘please stop this violence,” Cheney said. 

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“Any man who would not do so, any man who would provoke a violent assault on the Capitol to stop the counting of electoral votes, any man who would watch television as police officers were being beaten, as his supporters were invading the Capitol of the United States, is clearly unfit for future office, clearly can never be anywhere near the Oval Office ever again,” Cheney added.

The House select committee also revealed text messages from Donald Trump Jr. to Meadows that were sent during the riot, in which Trump Jr. stated that his father needed to “condemn” the insurrection as it was occurring. 

“‘He’s got to condemn this sh*t ASAP. The Capitol Police tweet is not enough,'” Trump Jr. wrote in one message to Meadows.

“He could have simply walked a few feet to the White House briefing room. He could have gone immediately on live television and asked his supporters to stop what was happening, asked them to go home. He failed to do that, at the same time the violent assault was happening, he is watching television, and he is also calling one senator urging delay of the electoral vote,” Cheney exclaimed.

Committee members are ideally going to present more of their work and findings to the public as the year progresses and the investigation continues. Public hearings that will outline the story of what really happened on January 6th have yet to be scheduled, but will be occurring later this year.

January 6th Committee Reveals New Text Messages From Former Chief Of Staff Mark Meadows

The House select committee investigating the January 6th attack against the US Capitol recently released new text messages that were obtained from former Trump White House chief of staff Mark Meadows. The text messages were sent to him in the days leading up to the insurrection as well as while the Capitol was under attack. 

Committee members read the messages on the House floor this Tuesday during the debate over whether a criminal contempt of Congress against Meadows should be given to the Justice Department or not. 

One of the messages included in the readings was from a Georgia government official to Meadows while former president Donald Trump was on the phone with Georgia’s secretary of state, during which Trump was urging him to “find” votes for Trump. Other discussions relating to Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election were also included. 

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Representative Zoe Lofgren read a text message from an unnamed Georgia government official to Meadows that was sent during the same phone call. The message read: “Need to end this call, I don’t think this will be productive for much longer,” referring to the call between Trump and Georgia’s secretary of state.

Representative Adam Schiff read a text message from an unknown number that applauded the potential appointment of Jeffrey Clark to be acting attorney general while Trump was attempting to get the Justice Department to support his false claims of election fraud. 

“I heard Jeff Clark is getting put in on Monday. That’s amazing. It will make a lot of patriots happy, and I’m personally so proud that you are at the tip of the spear, and I could call you a friend,” the text to Meadows read.

“Mr. Meadows received numerous text messages, which he has produced without any privilege claim, imploring that Mr. Trump take specific action we all know his duty required. Indeed, some of those text messages, madam speaker, came from members in the chamber right now,” said Republican Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming, one of two Republicans on the select committee. 

The select committee approved its resolution holding Meadows in contempt on Monday. The panel also revealed that Meadows had voluntarily provided text messages that he received on January 6th, including those from Fox News personalities, lawmakers, and Donald Trump Jr. 

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While some republicans spoke out against the committee for pursuing contempt charges against Meadows, they responded by stating that Meadows was flouting the law by refusing to show up for testimony about material he has already turned over to them. 

The text messages used throughout the hearing emphasized the argument that there were plenty of topics that the committee could ask Meadows that would not be covered by executive privilege. 

One of these text messages from Meadows to an unspecified member of Congress inquired about whether or not former vice president Mike Pence could overturn Electoral College results; this text was sent three days before the insurrection. 

In another text message from November 4, 2020, the day after the election, a member suggested to Meadows an “aggressive strategy for Republican-led state legislatures to just send their own electors to Congress and let the Supreme Court decide who won the election.”

Another text message from a member to Meadows underscored how the “committee has not received everything from the former White House chief of staff. Please check your signal,” the January 5 message said.

The committee will be making a decision within a week when to release the names of all the individuals involved in the text messages with the former chief of staff.

Capitol in DC

New Court Filings Regarding Capitol Riot Reveal What Trump Is Trying To Hide From Congress 

The National Archives outlined, in a sworn declaration, more than 700 pages of handwritten notes, draft documents, and daily logs of former president Donald Trump’s top advisers in relation to the January 6th Capitol riot. The late-night court filings are reported to reveal all of the specifics of what Trump wanted to keep secret in terms of his efforts to overturn the 2020 election. 

The US House told federal courts that Trump has no right to keep more than 700 pages of documents confidential. The court filings are in response to a lawsuit from Trump where he is attempting to block congressional investigators from accessing hundreds of pages of records they requested from the National Archives. The House also presented itself in agreement with the Biden administration. 

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The records Trump is attempting to conceal include handwritten memos from his chief of staff about January 6th, call logs between Trump and former vice president Mike Pence, and White House visitor records. The House Committee wrote a statement regarding the lawsuit and concealed documents. 

“In 2021, for the first time since the Civil War, the Nation did not experience a peaceful transfer of power. The Select Committee has reasonably concluded that it needs the documents of the then-President who helped foment the breakdown in the rule of law. … It is difficult to imagine a more critical subject for Congressional investigation.”

The records also include working papers from then-White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, press secretary and White House lawyer who had notes and memos about how Trump was attempting to undermine the election. In Meadows document, there are two handwritten notes about the Capitol riot and two pages listing briefings and telephone calls about the Electoral College certification, according to the archivist with the National Archives. 

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Laster’s documents reveal what was occurring within the West Wing during the initial moments of the January 6th riot. Trump is also looking to conceal 30 pages of his daily schedule. “The call logs, schedules and switchboard checklists document calls to the President and Vice President, all specifically for or encompassing January 6, 2021,” Laster said.

So far, the Biden Administration has declined to keep information about “the Trump White House leading up to January 6th private. The extraordinary Trump-led attempt to overturn the 2020 election and the ongoing bipartisan House investigation, and the Archives have sided with President Joe Biden’s directions.”

The Archives announced they have plans to release Trump’s records to the House beginning November 12th. A bipartisan group of 66 former Congress members, including some republicans, told a federal court that they support the US in their pursuit of these documents and this case. 

The former members said they need Congress to understand “the January 6 attack shouldn’t be undermined by Trump. Chutkan should reject his request for a court order that would stop the Archives from turning over documents. An armed attack on the United States Capitol that disrupted the peaceful transfer of presidential power — and not the document requests necessary to investigate it — is the only grave threat to the Constitution before the Court,” the former members write.

New Book Reveals Top Military Officials Thought Trump Was Planning A Coup, Planned A Mass Resignation 

“I Alone Can Fix It” is a new book by Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker which details reports of top military officials who knew former president Donald Trump was planning a coup after his defeat in the 2020 election. 

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark Milley is one of the many military officials who discussed resigning if they were to be given illegal or dangerous orders from the former president should he attempt a coup. 

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Experts of the book showed Milley and others discussing the possibility of a coup with lawmakers, friends, and other White House top officials. 

“They may try, but they’re not going to succeed. You can’t do this [a coup] without the military. You can’t do this without the CIA and the FBI, we’re the guys with the guns.” 

Other officials also discussed resigning one by one rather than carrying out any illegal orders they may receive. According to the book, one of the main focuses of their concern was Trump’s decision to replace top officials at the Departments of Defense and Justice.

On November 9th Trump announced that former Defense Secretary Mark Esper had been “terminated,” just one week after Esper warned if Trump replaced him, the new Secretary would be “a real yes man, and then God help us.” 

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According to the book, “Milley grew increasingly concerned by Trump’s behavior ahead of January 6, believing that Trump was deliberately seeking to stir unrest with his bogus election-fraud claims to invoke the Insurrection Act and summon the military.” One excerpt quoted an unnamed friend who warned Milley of Trump’s potential coup.

“What they are trying to do here is overturn the government. This is all real man. You are one of the few guys who are standing between us and some really bad stuff.” 

The book claimed that Milley was so concerned over Trump that he compared the former president’s behavior to Adolf Hitler’s after he used the 1933 Reichstag fire to declare a state of emergency and seize full authoritarian power. 

Milley has been the target of multiple attacks from the former president and his allies this week after he also defended the US’s military policy of teaching members about racism in the US before Congress. 

At the congressional hearing, Milley claimed that he was committed to understanding his own “white rage and the motives of the far-right Capitol insurrectionists.”