Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told then-President Donald Trump that the violent demonstrations following the death of George Floyd were just ‘penny packet protests,’ according to a new book.
Milley reportedly downplayed the unrest in the country last May, and rejected Trumps’ suggestion protesters were ‘burning America down.’
‘Mr. President, they are not burning it down,’ Milley said, according to Peril by Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa.
It’s still unclear when in May the conversation occurred, but there had been an array of protests throughout numerous cities following Floyd’s May 25 death after cop Derek Chauvin knelt on his neck for more than nine minutes.
In a new book, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley told former President Donald Trump the riots that followed the death of George Floyd were ‘penny packet protests’ while downplaying it was an insurrection
In this June 6, 2020, file photo, demonstrators protest near the White House in Washington over the death of George Floyd
Protests broke out nationwide following Floyd’s death, with thousands calling on the police to be defunded and held accountable for acts of violence that go unpunished or ignored.
As a result of the protests, more than a dozen cities enacted curfews, while thousands of National Guard members were deployed in at least 15 states.
Two people were shot and killed in Indianapolis, after protests turned violent. In Denver, Colorado, a car rammed into a police vehicle, injuring three officers and a civilian and rioters armed with crowbars, baseball bats, assault rifles, and handguns attacked cops and protesters.
Milley allegedly assured Trump there had only been two cities with major protests, and most places had a maximum of 300 protesters.
‘They used spray paint, Mr. President, that’s not an insurrection,’ Mllley said.
Milley then gestured to a portrait of President Abraham Lincoln, stating the protests were not comparable to the militia bombardment of Fort Sumter in 1861.
‘We’re a country of 330 million people. You’ve got these penny packet protests,’ he said, before adding that the situation was not as threatening as the 1968 riots in Washington.
The term refers to small number of things or people, otherwise deemed insufficient.
Demonstrators march while protesting against police brutality and racism on June 6, 2020 in Washington, DC
On September 14, the Tucker Carlson Tonight host detailed meetings in which Milley allegedly told senior military officials that Trump was a ‘serious threat to national security,’ and may need to be handled with ‘physical force’
The book claims Milley told Trump the protests were not an issue for the U.S. military.
Earlier this week, Tucker Carlson slammed Milley as ‘treasonous’ after the book claimed Milley told officials Trump was a ‘serious threat to national security’ and ‘may need to be handled with physical force’.
Written by famed Watergate journalist Bob Woodward, and Washington Post reporter Robert Costa, ‘Peril’ outlines discussions Milley had with then-President Trump about the protests that erupted in May 2020 following Floyd’s death in Minneapolis
According to the book, Milley told officials at the National Military Command Center that they ‘reported to him, not the elected president of the United States,’ and that they were to ‘follow no order without consulting him first.’
He also made secret calls with China behind Trump’s back, in an attempt to prevent a war breaking out, and attempted to limit Trump’s ability to launch nukes, the book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa claims.
‘How do you describe this? “Deep state” isn’t strong enough,’ Carlson said on his show on Tuesday. ‘It’s treason. It’s a crime.’
‘To those who say they’re worried about authoritarianism coming in America, well, it’s here,’ Carlson added. ‘That’s what this is. Authoritarian government. Government by unelected, unaccountable leaders willing to use violence to preserve their rule.’
Carlson told his viewers that Milley told officials at the first meeting that Trump’s behavior put the ‘the stability of the Republic’ in danger.
Milley reportedly had similar conversations with CIA Director Gina Haspel, NSA Head Paul Nakasone, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Speaker Nancy Pelosi.