Last summer, when former President Donald Trump was attempting to exploit racial justice protests to appease his racist supporters, he reportedly came up with a plan to deal with them—and then erupted in a fit of anger when he was told that it was completely unworkable. Axios got hold of a passage from a new book from The Wall Street Journal’s Michael Bender with the excellent title Frankly, We Did Win This Election.
In the book, Bender reports that Trump wanted Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to take charge of a “scorched-earth military campaign” to squash the protests. In the White House’s Situation Room, Milley reportedly told Trump that he legally couldn’t take charge of the strategy, causing Trump to scream: “I said you’re in fucking charge!” Milley then shouted back: “Well, I’m not in charge!” Trump then bellowed: “You can’t fucking talk to me like that!” An exasperated Milley then appealed to others at the meeting: “Goddamnit... There’s a room full of lawyers here. Will someone inform him of my legal responsibilities?” Then-Attorney General Bill Barr reportedly told Trump that Milley was correct.
Trump denied the account of the meeting to Axios, commenting: “If Gen. Milley had yelled at me, I would have fired him.”