Trump claims he’s ‘not into coups’ and wouldn’t want to do one with Gen. Mark Milley anyway

General Mark Milley testifies in front of Congress.
General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff

  • Trump said he’s “not into coups” and wouldn’t want to do one with Gen. Mark Milley anyway.
  • A new book reports that Milley was afraid Trump would cause a coup in the aftermath of 2020.
  • The book, “I Alone Can Fix It,” also says that Milley likened Trump to Hitler.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Former President Donald Trump on Thursday said he’s “not into coups,” further clarifying that even if he was, he wouldn’t want to commit one with Gen. Mark Milley.

An excerpt of the book “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by Washington Post reporters Phillip Rucker and Carol Leonnig and published by CNN on Wednesday said that Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and other top US generals were afraid that Trump could take his desire to overturn the 2020 election to the point of leading a coup. Some top officials even prepared to resign en masse if necessary, the authors wrote.

“I never threatened, or spoke to, anyone about a coup of our government. So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but the election is my form of ‘coup’, and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is Mark General Milley,” Trump said in a lengthy statement. In it, he also blamed Milley’s appointment on Gen. James Mattis, who he described as “the world’s most overrated general.”

Read more: Police reform once brought Democratic lawmakers and Black Lives Matter activists together. But now, tension rules.

The former president went on to criticize Milley for apologizing for accompanying Trump in a June 2020 walk across Lafayette Square to St. John’s Church, after the area was cleared of people protesting racism and police brutality. Shortly thereafter, Milley said he “should not have been there,” and called the episode “a mistake.”

“I saw at that moment he had no courage or skill, certainly not the kind of person I would be talking ‘coup’ with,” Trump said of Milley. “I’m not into coups!” he added.

Trump took a now-infamous photo holding a Bible upside down in front of the church, leading some to conclude that the park had been cleared for the photo op. The inspector general for the Interior Department determined in June 2021, however, that the US Park Police and Secret Service did not clear the park for Trump’s photoshoot, but to install fortified anti-scale fencing.

Another excerpt of “I Alone Can Fix It” published in New York Magazine revealed that Milley likened Trump to German dictator Adolf Hitler, who oversaw the Holocaust. Milley described Trump’s refusal to accept the result of the 2020 election and his blatant efforts to subvert it as “the gospel of the Führer.”

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Rep. Liz Cheney rebukes former Trump advisor Michael Flynn for suggesting a coup ‘should happen’ in the US

liz cheney gop white supremacy
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyoming).

  • Rep. Liz Cheney on Monday pushed back on Michael Flynn’s comments about a coup in the US.
  • “No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States,” she tweeted.
  • Flynn suggested that a coup, like the one in Myanmar, should happen in the US. He has since walked back his comments.
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Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming rebuked Michael Flynn, President Donald Trump’s former national security advisor, for appearing to endorse a coup in the US similar to the one in Myanmar in February.

“No American should advocate or support the violent overthrow of the United States,” the Republican lawmaker tweeted Monday, referring to comments Flynn made over the weekend at a QAnon conference in Dallas.

Flynn, a keynote speaker at the four-day convention, has peddled conspiracy theories endorsed by the far-right movement, which broadly believes in the existence of a “deep state” cabal of pedophiles.

During a panel on Sunday, an audience member asked Flynn: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here.”

“No reason, I mean, it should happen here. No reason. That’s right,” Flynn responded, according to footage of the interaction that later circulated on Twitter.

Other prominent attendees at the event, called the For God & Country Patriot Roundup, included pro-Trump lawyers Sidney Powell and Lin Wood, former Trump advisor George Papadopoulos, and GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas, a Trump ally.

In February, Myanmar’s military overthrew the country’s democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. The military junta has since imprisoned more than 4,400 protestors and killed at least 841, according to data compiled by the Assistance Association for Political Prisoners, a non-profit human rights organization.

Flynn on Monday attempted to walk back his remarks and accused the “media” of “manipulating” his words.

“Let me be VERY CLEAR – There is NO reason whatsoever for any coup in America, and I do not and have not at any time called for any action of that sort,” Flynn wrote on Telegram, a social media platform favored by far-right groups.

Flynn served as Trump’s first national security advisor for 22 days before resigning. He later pleaded guilty in 2017 to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia’s ambassador to the US. Trump ultimately pardoned him last November.

Flynn was thrust into the spotlight in the QAnon universe after he baselessly repeated that Trump won the 2020 presidential election. Followers of the QAnon movement have also praised the coup in Myanmar and shown support for a coup in the US, according to reporting by Media Matters for America.

Cheney has emerged as a fierce opponent of Trump and his allies following the January 6 Capitol riot. She has condemned his false claims about the 2020 race and voted to impeach him. House Republicans booted her from her leadership position last month over her stance.

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Former Trump advisor Michael Flynn said the US should have a coup like Myanmar, where the military overthrew the democratically elected government

myanmar
Anti-coup protesters march with homemade air rifles as one of them holds sign showing support for a civilian-formed federal army during a protest march in Yangon, Myanmar, Saturday, April 3, 2021.

  • Former national security adviser Michael Flynn spoke at a QAnon conference in Dallas this weekend.
  • When asked about the coup in Myanmar, Flynn said that “it should happen here.”
  • Myanmar’s military overthrew the democratically elected government and has killed hundreds of people.
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Michael Flynn, who served as President Donald Trump’s national security adviser, told a crowd at a QAnon conference in Dallas, Texas, this weekend that the US should have a coup like the one in Myanmar.

On February 1, Myanmar’s military overthrew its democratically elected government and arrested its leaders. The coup immediately sparked protests across the country, prompting the junta to launch a campaign against its own citizens.

Upwards of 800 Burmese people, including at least 40 children, have been killed, according to Myanmar’s Assistance Association for Political Prisoners. More than 4,000 people have been arrested.

Flynn, who has become a prominent figure in the QAnon conspiracy theory, was a main attraction at the event, held at the Omni Hotel in Dallas.

In a video shared on Twitter, an attendee asks Flynn: “I want to know why what happened in Myanmar can’t happen here.”

The crowd immediately cheers, followed by Flynn’s response: “No reason. I mean, it should happen here.”

QAnon communities have praised the Myanmar coup and endorsed the idea that it should happen in the US, according to Media Matters for America.

In 2017, Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his communications with Russia. He later accused the Justice Department of entrapment and moved to withdraw his guilty plea. In November, Trump pardoned him.

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Biden announces sanctions targeting Myanmar military leaders to urge them to release detained elected leaders

Myanmar Coup
Military soldiers with tanks and police truck block the road near parliament in Naypyidaw in Myanmar on February 1, 2021.

  • Biden announced sanctions against military leaders in Myanmar following their coup. 
  • The initial rounds of individuals sanctioned will be announced this week. 
  • Biden also called on the military to release officials, including civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

President Joe Biden ordered sanctions against Myanmar’s military leaders after a coup earlier this month and called on them to release detained officials, including President Win Myint and civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi. 

“The people of Burma are making their voices heard, and the world is watching,” Biden said in a briefing. “We’ll be ready to impose additional measures, and we’ll continue to work with our international partners to urge other nations to join us in these efforts.”

The first round of individuals to be reprimanded will be announced this week, but Biden promised to “immediately sanction the military leaders who directed the coup, their business interests, as well as close family members.”

State Department spokesperson Ned Price also said the US would work with other countries to impose “steep and profound costs on those responsible for this coup.”

The US formally declared the military takeover as a coup on February 2, which prompted a review of foreign aid to the country, NBC reported. 

The military, known as the Tatmadaw, took over on February 1, claiming there was mass voter fraud during the country’s November elections. An independent election committee, however, reviewed the claims and found them to be baseless. 

Biden’s executive order will also limit the military’s access to the country’s $1 billion in government funds held in the US. 

Read more:  Brad Parscale is back again in Trump’s orbit. The former 2020 campaign manager hated by the ex-president is building his post-White House digital operation.

Additionally, the US said it would freeze assets that help Myanmar’s government, but will continue to support “health care, civil society groups, and other areas that benefit the people of Burma directly,” Biden said.

While the US has ordered sanctions, Reuters reported that it’s unlikely that countries like China, India, Japan, and other Southeast Asian neighbors will impose sanctions on Myanmar. 

“The key will not be just what America does,” Derek Mitchell, a former US ambassador to Myanmar told Reuters. “It’s going to be how we get others along with us, allies who may have more skin in the game, more leverage, or at least better relationships with the key players.”

Other countries like New Zealand have already condemned the coup and taken diplomatic measures including directing New Zealand’s aid program to “not include projects that are delivered with, or benefit, the military government.”

The country is also suspending “all high-level political and military contact with Myanmar.” 

The UN Human Rights Council will hold a special session on the situation in Myanmar on Friday. 

 

 

 

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China and Russia blocked the UN from condemning Myanmar’s military coup

Armoured personnel carriers are seen on the streets of Mandalay on February 3, 2021, as calls for a civil disobedience gather pace following a military coup which saw civilian leader Aung San Suu Kyi being detained. (Photo by STR / AFP) (Photo by STR/AFP via Getty Images)
Armored military vehicles in Mandalay, Myanmar, on February 3, 2021.

  • China and Russia blocked the UN Security Council from condemning the Myanmar coup.
  • Myanmar’s military detained politicians and imposed a state of emergency on Monday.
  • China has close ties to Myanmar, and its state media called the coup a “cabinet reshuffle.”
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China and Russia have blocked the UN from condemning the ongoing military coup in Myanmar

The 15-member UN Security Council met on Tuesday to vote on a joint statement after Myanmar military chief Min Aung Hlaing on Monday seized control of the country, detaining hundreds of lawmakers including President Win Myint and the de facto head of government Aung San Suu Kyi.

The coup followed the November 2020 election that the military claims was fraudulent, with the military imposing a year-long state of emergency.

The Myanmar police, which operates under the military, charged Suu Kyi with breaching import laws and using illegal communication devices – walkie-talkies – on Wednesday, the BBC reported. The police also charged Win Myint with violating COVID-19 rules, per the BBC.

The UN statement sought to “condemn the military coup” and call on the military to “immediately release those unlawfully detained,” according to a draft seen by Politico.

However, the council was unable to issue that statement as UN ambassadors from China and Russia said they would need the respective blessings of Beijing and Moscow before agreeing, the Associated Press reported.

“China and Russia have asked for more time,” a diplomat told Agency France-Presse.

As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia are able to veto or delay the body’s activities.

FILE PHOTO: The United Nations Security Council meets about the situation in Syria at United Nations Headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., February 28, 2020. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo
The UN Security Council seen in New York City in February 2020.

Issuing a joint statement is the first step to enforcing sanctions and Sherine Tadros, the deputy director of advocacy at Amnesty International, told the AP the council needs to act.

“The Security Council must also impose a comprehensive global arms embargo on Myanmar, and crucially, refer the situation in Myanmar to the International Criminal Court,” Tadros said, adding that the council should freeze Min Aung Hlaing’s assets.

Nations can enforce sanctions on Myanmar themselves, but for the UN to issue one takes a resolution, which looks unlikely given China and Russia’s reticence.

On Tuesday, the US State Department officially labelled the takeover as a “coup,” meaning it cannot offer help to the new military regime. The US is a permanent member of the UN Security Council.

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On the ground in Myanmar, people are expressing their outrage.

Local activists launched the “Civil Disobedience Movement” on Facebook on Tuesday, AFP reported, adding that as of Wednesday morning it had amassed nearly 150,000 followers.

Doctors and nurses at 70 hospitals across the country also stopped working in protest of the military coup.

A ‘cabinet reshuffle’

China has a long history of defending Myanmar, and has been reticent to label the takeover as a “coup.”

China is Myanmar’s largest trading partner, owning major oil and gas pipelines in the country, and is currently working on establishing the “China-Myanmar Economic Corridor.” 

“China is a friendly neighbor of Myanmar’s,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said Monday, Reuters reported.

“We hope that all sides in Myanmar can appropriately handle their differences under the constitution and legal framework and safeguard political and social stability.”

On Monday the state-run Xinhua news agency referred to the coup as a “cabinet reshuffle.”

While many nations shunned Myanmar when it was a military dictatorship between 1962 and 2011, China stood by it and has also cultivated healthy ties with Suu Kyi since she became leader in 2015.

China defended Myanmar and Suu Kyi as they faced of allegations of genocide. Suu Kyi is accused of driving at least 740,000 Rohingya Muslims out of the country since August 2017, according to Human Rights Watch.

In late January 2020, the UN’s International Court of Justice ruled that Myanmar must “take all measures” to prevent the genocide of the ethnic minority.

That same month, China said that it “firmly supports Myanmar’s efforts to safeguard its legitimate rights and interests and national dignity in the international arena,” AFP reported.

Russia and China have blocked UN actions regarding Myanmar in the past, having in 2007 vetoed a UN draft resolution that called on the country’s military regime at the time to release political prisoners and stop violating human rights.

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Trump supporters falsely claim a far-right activist at the US Capitol is actually a member of ‘Antifa’

Qanon shaman viking riot capitol
Jake Angeli, the “Q Shaman,” was one of several protesters to confront Capitol police officers at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, in Washington, DC. – Demonstrators breached security and entered the Capitol as Congress debated the a 2020 presidential election Electoral Vote Certification.

  • Jake Angeli, an infamous far-right activist from Arizona, was pictured as part of the mob that assaulted the US Capitol on Wednesday.
  • On social media, other far-right activists tried to claim he was actually a liberal or part of “Antifa.”
  • They did so by posting a photo of him at a Black Lives Matter protest in Tempe, Arizona, neglecting the fact that he was counter-protesting.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Jake Angeli is a far-right activist who loves Donald Trump and appearing in public without a shirt and posing as a viking.

On far-right social media, however, the man from Arizona — pictured with a mob of Trump supporters at the US Capitol on Wednesday — is being falsely portrayed as a supporter of a Black Lives Matter, a movement he opposes, as part of a conspiracy theory, stoked by at least one Fox News anchor, that blames the violence in Washington on anti-fascists.

“Paid actor and was at the BLM march in Arizona last year,” one man claimed on Twitter.

“This ‘patriot’ led the way in the DC Riot,” claimed the administrator of a far-right Facebook group in New Mexico.

“This guy is from Arizona. Here is a photo I took of him at the Temple BLM march in June,” another woman tweeted, quoting a left-wing Arizona activist, her post retweeted some 18,000 times and receiving over 27,000 likes.

Screenshot_2021 01 06 Cari Kelemen on Twitter
Far-right activists on Twitter are claiming one of their own is actually Antifa.

Angeli was indeed at a Black Lives Matter protest. The problem for far-right conspiracy theorists is that he was there to protest the protest. Indeed, he is a crank himself.

As the Arizona Republic reported, the 32-year-old Angeli is “a QAnon supporter who has been a fixture at Arizona right-wing political rallies over the past year.” Back home, he is a fixture at the Arizona State Capitol building, “shouting about various conspiracy theories.”

As Insider’s Rachel E. Greenspan noted earlier in the day, that dedication has earned him the moniker, “Q Shaman.” Antifa he is not.

The episode could be dismissed with a laugh, had the broader claim – that Antifa was responsible rather than the president’s own supporters – not already being introduced into mainstream discourse by members of Congress, such as Rep. Matt Gaetz, who was applauded by House Republicans for his conspiratorial deflection.

Kate Starbird, an expert on disinformation at the University of Washington, explained what’s coming on the far right: “They’ll ask their followers to ignore what they saw with their own eyes (and some of what they experienced and perpetrated themselves)… and believe another alternative reality.” 

Have a news tip? Email this reporter: cdavis@insider.com

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