President Trump evidently viewed the US military as his own personal militia, to be used to attack his political enemies:
The President would highlight videos that showed law enforcement getting physical with protesters and tell his administration he wanted to see more of that behavior, the excerpts show.
Top US general hits back against ‘offensive’ Republican criticism and defends Pentagon diversity efforts“That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people,” Trump told his top law enforcement and military officials, according to Bender. “Crack their skulls!”Trump also told his team that he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f–k out” of the civil rights protesters, Bender writes.”Just shoot them,” Trump said on multiple occasions inside the Oval Office, according to the excerpts…
At times, Milley also clashed with top White House officials who sought to encourage the then-President’s behavior.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.The comment infuriated Milley, who viewed Miller as not only wrong but out of his lane, Bender writes, noting the Army general who had commanded troops in Iraq and Afghanistan spun around in his seat and pointed a finger directly at Miller.”Shut the f–k up, Stephen,” Milley snapped, according to the excerpts.
One of the best moments in the recent podcast recorded by Scott, Paul, and Adam Serwer was Adam’s discussion of how Trump viewed himself as a wartime President, at war on behalf of Red America against Blue America. I’ll have more thoughts later on the increasing disenchantment between the GOP elite and the US military officer corps, but it’s a phenomenon worth paying attention to.