Former White House aide Stephen Miller, also known as the mastermind behind locking kids in cages at the border, drew the ire of Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley in the summer of 2020 for pushing for the use of military force against protesters.
In the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder by Derek Chauvin, who will now spend 22 years in prison, protests against police brutality and racial injustice broke out across the country, especially in Minnesota where the crime occurred, and in Washington DC.
In response to the protests, disgraced former President Donald Trump reportedly expected law enforcement and the military to “crack some skulls” and use violence to put down the protests.
According to a CNN report on the details of a new book by Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender:
Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the fuck out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes. “Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts. When Milley and then-Attorney General William Barr would push back, Trump toned it down, but only slightly, Bender adds. “Well, shoot them in the leg, or maybe the foot,” Trump said. “But be hard on them!”
The meeting occurred on the same day when law enforcement violently cleared Lafayette Square so that Trump could stage a photo-op.
Milley, who recently humiliated Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) and other Republicans for raging about critical race theory, would go on to put Stephen Miller in his place.
During one Oval Office debate, senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller chimed in, equating the scenes unfolding on his television to those in a third-world country and claiming major American cities had been turned into war zones.
“These cities are burning,” Miller warned, according to the excerpts.
The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.
“Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.
Millions of Americans have wanted to tell Miller to “shut the f*ck up” to his face for four years now. Milley actually did it and kept his job, a job he still holds.
He also schooled Trump on what the definition of an insurrection is when Trump toyed with invoking the Insurrection Act to use troops against American citizens.
He told the President there were more than enough reserves in the National Guard to support law enforcement responding to the protests. Milley told him that invoking the Insurrection Act would shift responsibility for the protests from local authorities directly to the President, according to the excerpts obtained by CNN.
Milley spotted President Abraham Lincoln’s portrait hanging just to the right of Trump and pointed directly at it, Bender writes.
“That guy had an insurrection,” Milley said. “What we have, Mr. President, is a protest.”
Indeed, and a very real insurrection would take place on January 6th when Trump supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to overthrow democracy. That would have been the best time to invoke the Insurrection Act. But, of course, Trump didn’t do it because he’s the one who incited the insurrection and delayed putting a stop to it.
Milley is a hero for standing up to Trump last summer. Now Attorney General Merrick Garland needs to be a hero by prosecuting Trump and hold him accountable for abusing his power.
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