A bombshell new report from Jonathan Swan and Zachary Basu of Axios details the Trump administration's defense goals in its final weeks, and some of the developments are concerning, to say the least.
The lengthy reporting includes details that Trump sought to completely withdraw from Afghanistan, Syria, Germany and other countries in an effort to build his legacy and prestige while he sought to overturn the results of the 2020 election. It also notes Trump's fury at former Defense Secretary Mark Esper last summer, after Esper insisted he didn't know Trump would pose for a publicity photo in front of St. John's Church, having law enforcement gas peaceful protestors to clear a path for the former President.
According to the report, that incident led to a grim epiphany for Esper:
"Esper concluded that Trump was willing to use the military to advance his election prospects and was concerned there were no boundaries. Trump concluded that his Secretary of Defense was weak."
Esper was fired by November 9 and replaced with former Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller, who was grappling with Trump's desires for widespread military withdrawals and the growing threat of Trump's eagerness to deploy the military domestically.
"Miller told associates he had three goals for the final weeks of the Trump administration: #1: No major war. #2: No military coup. #3: No troops fighting citizens on the streets."
The wide-ranging report contains many revelations about Trump's defense strategy in the final days, but these three goals of Miller's painted a disturbing portrait on social media.
The bar was terrifyingly low.