America will forever remember the events of January 6, when a mob of pro-Trump extremists—motivated by the former President's election lies—stormed the United States Capitol in a deadly failed insurrection, shattering windows, ransacking offices, smearing excrement across the walls, and beating police officers.
In the months since the siege, Republican mouthpieces have leapt to dismiss the severity of the Capitol Riots or to promote conspiracy theories absolving the GOP for the deadly disinformation that prompted the chaos. Republican Congressman Andrew Clyde of Georgia insisted the riots resembled a "normal tourist visit." Senator Ron Johnson of Wisconsin suggested antifa secretly coordinated the riots. Right-wing media personality Megyn Kelly claimed the first mass attack on the U.S. Capitol by its own citizens was overblown by the liberal media.
But a new book—I Alone Can Fix It—from Pulitzer Prize-winning reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker of the Washington Post details just how concerned senior Defense Department officials had become that Trump would attempt to stage a coup.
It credits Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman General Mark Milley—whose musings on Critical Race Theory went viral last month—with saying:
"They may try, but they're not going to f**king succeed. You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns."
Milley is presented in the book as one of the top officials fighting Trump's subversion of democracy from within.
Reacting to the reporting, Trump fumed in a lengthy statement, berating Milley and accusing him of choking "like a dog."
One notable quote:
"Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,' and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley."
The line immediately prompted comparisons to football star and accused murder O.J. Simpson, whose acquittal for the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ronald Goldman remains controversial today. In 2007, Simpson released a book called If I Did It: Confessions of the Killer, which details how Simpson hypothetically would have carried out the murders.
Trump's comments were soon characterized as his If I Did It moment.
The statement was slammed across the internet.
Milley will not confirm or deny the details of the reporting.