Former President Trump said Thursday that despite a new book reporting that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs feared a coup led from the Oval Office, Gen. Mark Milley had nothing to worry about. "I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government," Trump said in a statement. "So ridiculous!" I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, provides an account of Milley's concern that Trump would attempt a Hitler-like takeover of government in the last days of his presidency. Trump coupled his denial Thursday with criticism of Milley, Politico reports. "Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,'" Trump said, "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," Trump said in the statement, issued through his office.
In his criticism, Trump said he made Milley chairman of the Joint Chiefs because he was disliked by people Trump disliked, per NBC. "I often act counter to people's advice who I don’t respect," the former president wrote. Trump especially was drawn to Milley "because the world's most overrated general, James Mattis, could not stand him, had no respect for him, and would not recommend him." Mattis was defense secretary under Trump. The book says that as concern about a coup grew, Milley, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo began holding regular phone calls about how they might block a potential presidential order to use the military in a way they considered illegal or improper. Trump's statement said he didn't consider a coup "despite massive Voter Fraud and Irregularities," for which no evidence has surfaced. (Read more Mark Milley stories.)