Gen. Milley Lied to President Trump About Black Lives Matter Riots
The tricky question about the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs is whether he's really this stupid or dishonest.
Now the background for this was the Black Lives Matter riots in D.C. which started a fire in the Church of Presidents and set the White House gatehouse on fire.
Milley reportedly pushed back against claims that the country was facing an insurrection that was "burning America down."
"Mr. President, they are not burning it down," he said, according to Woodward and Costa.
When Milley spoke to Trump, however, he reportedly cited data at that time that said there had only been two cities with major protests, while elsewhere it was 20-300 protesters.
"They used spray paint, Mr. President, that’s not an insurrection," he said.
He then gestured to a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln and said that it was not comparable to the militia bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861.
"We’re a country of 330 million people. You’ve got these penny packet protests," he said, before adding that the situation was not as threatening as the 1968 riots in Washington.
He also told Trump that it was not an issue for the U.S. military and then addressed systemic racism with Trump, according to the book.
"That’s pent up in communities that have been experiencing what they perceive to be police brutality," he said.
This account comes from Woodward's Peril. It has some similarities to the account in a previous anti-Trump book, Frankly, We Did Win This Election.
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."
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.
"Shut the f--k up, Stephen," Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.
The accounts differ on the details, but both have Milley minimizing the BLM riots. Which brings us back to the question of whether Milley was really this stupid or this dishonest.
The race riots had injured hundreds of police officers, they had besieged a Federal building, and wrecked D.C. But even back then, Milley was making a pitch for systemic racism, instead of defending the country he had given his oath to.