On January 5, former President Donald Trump threatened to end his bromance with then-Vice President Mike Pence if Pence didn’t refuse to certify Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential election victory.
“Peril,” a new book by journalists Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, details the episode. Excerpts from the book were obtained by CNN,
The book reportedly “describes the tense encounter in the Oval Office on January 5 when Trump pressured Pence to overturn the results of the election,” CNN reported. “While the showdown went on inside, the two men could hear MAGA supporters cheering and chanting outside near Pennsylvania Avenue.”
“If these people say you had the power, wouldn’t you want to?” Trump asked Pence.
“I wouldn’t want anyone person to have that authority,” Pence replied.
“But wouldn’t it be almost cool to have that power?” Trump pressed.
“No,” Pence insisted. “I’ve done everything I could and then some to find a way around this. It’s simply not possible.”
“No, no, no!” Trump reportedly shouted. “You don’t understand, Mike. You can do this. I don’t want to be your friend anymore if you don’t do this.”
According to the writers, Trump tried to persuade Pence once more on the morning of January 6.
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“If you don’t do it, I picked the wrong man four years ago,” the president charged. “You’re going to wimp out.”
According to the new book two days after the January 6 attack on the US Capitol, President Donald Trump’s top military adviser, Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Mark Milley, took secret action to prevent Trump from ordering a dangerous military strike or launching nuclear weapons.
Milley, who was said to be “deeply shaken” by the situation ‘was certain that Trump had gone into a serious mental decline in the aftermath of the election, with Trump now all but manic, screaming at officials and constructing his own alternate reality about endless election conspiracies.’
The authors wrote that Milley worried that Trump could ‘go rogue.”
“You never know what a president’s trigger point is,” Milley told his senior staff, according to the book.
Milley responded by convening a secret meeting in his Pentagon office on January 8 to evaluate the military action procedure, including the firing of nuclear weapons. Milley told top military officials in command of the Pentagon’s war room, the National Military Command Center, not to receive orders from anyone unless he was there.
“No matter what you are told, you do the procedure. You do the process. And I’m part of that procedure,” Milley told the officers.
He then went around the room, looking each officer in the eyes and asking them to confirm their understanding vocally.
“Got it?” Milley asked, according to the book.
‘Milley considered it an oath,’ the authors write.
“Peril” is based on more than 200 interviews with direct participants and witnesses, and it depicts Trump’s final days in power in a terrifying manner. The book describes behind-the-scenes moments of a commander in chief who was erratic and combustible, swearing at key advisers and aides as he desperately tried to cling to power.
It also includes fresh details regarding Trump’s January 5 Oval Office clash with Vice President Mike Pence, as well as unique reporting on the events building up to January 6 and Trump’s reaction to the uprising.
Documents, calendars, diaries, emails, meeting notes, transcripts, and other records were collected by Woodward and Costa.