Books

Trump wanted to reinstate retired 4-star generals so he could court-martial them for criticizing him

According to a new book from former defense secretary Mark Esper, former President Donald Trump wanted the military to recall two retired four-star officers who criticized him so they could be court-martialed, Talking Points Memo reports.

Esper’s memoir, A Sacred Oath, claims Trump wanted former Gen. Stan McChrystal and former Navy Admiral William H. McRaven be reinstated into active duty so that they could be court-martialed for criticizing him, saying that they were “so disloyal.”

Trump allegedly became enraged after right-wing news outlets reported that McChrystal was advising the Democratic Party on ways to use artificial intelligence to damage Trump’s re-election campaign — news that “spun the president up,” according to Esper.

According to a copy of the book obtained by TPM, Trump also wanted to add McRaven to the court-martial plan, due to the fact that McRaven was an outspoken critic of Trump during his administration, writing in an October 2019 op-ed in the New York Times that the U.S. was “under attack” by Trump’s presidency.

“The president told Milley and me that he ‘want[ed] to call them [McChrystal and McRaven] back to active duty and court-martial them’ for what they said,” the book reads.

Trump only backed off the plan when Esper said he phone the retired generals and convinced to tamp down their criticism.

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