To the Editor:
“Peril,” a new book by Bob Woodward of “All The President’s Men” fame, details explosive new insights about the final days of the Trump Administration. Based on more than 200 interviews and 6,000 pages of transcripts, the book takes readers through what really happened, with eyewitness accounts. It paints a chilling picture of Trump, manic, screaming at officials about endless election conspiracies and constructing his own alternate reality.
Chairman of the Joint Chiefs General Milley learned that Trump had signed a military order to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by Jan. 15, 2021, before he left the White House. The memo had been secretly drafted by two Trump loyalists. No one on the national security team knew about it, according to the book. The memo was eventually nullified, but Milley could not ignore that Trump was going rogue.
After the Jan. 6 insurrection, the CIA director, Gina Haspel, warned Milley, “We are on the way to a right-wing coup. The whole thing is insanity. He is acting out like a six-year-old with a tantrum.” Haspel also worried that Trump would try to attack Iran. “This is a highly dangerous situation. Are we going to lash out for his ego?” she asked. It was obvious to anyone watching closely that Trump would rather burn down the house after the election than acknowledge defeat. Milley decided he had to act. He told his top service chiefs to watch everything “all the time.” Intelligence reports indicated Chinese leaders were wary of a random strike, because Trump was acting so irrationally. Milley sought to assure his Chinese counterpart that the United States was stable and not going to attack and, if there were to be an attack, he would alert his counterpart ahead of time.
“Peril” also describes the tense encounter in the Oval Office on Jan. 5 when Trump pressured Pence to overturn the results of the election. When Pence did not budge, Trump turned on him.
“No, no, no!” Trump shouted, according to the authors. “You don’t understand, Mike. You can do this. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”
Village of Summerhill