As summarized by CNN, a new book from journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa reveals that, in the immediate aftermath of the Capitol riot in January, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Mark Milley “single-handedly took top-secret action to limit Trump from potentially ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons.” In their book, Woodward and Costa say that Milley “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.”
Milley’s specific actions included “a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to review the process for military action, including launching nuclear weapons,” as explained by CNN. At the time, Milley directed the top officials who were present “not to take orders from anyone unless he was involved,” CNN says. Milley asked for verbal confirmation from each official that they grasped his directive. As Milley put it at the time, according to the book:
‘No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure.’
In apparently separate interactions, Milley is also reported to have alerted National Security Agency director Paul Nakasone, then-CIA Director Gina Haspel, and others to be vigilant. Milley “was overseeing the mobilization of America’s national security state without the knowledge of the American people or the rest of the world,” as Woodward and Costa put it in their book. Milley had personally experienced the erratic tendencies of Trump’s behavior thanks to a secret order that he discovered Trump to have signed shortly after the election directing the withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel from Afghanistan by January 15 of this year, before Trump was set to leave office. Although the order was eventually cast aside, Milley “could not forget that Trump had done an end run around his top military advisers,” as CNN summarized it. Read more at this link.