Despite a campaign by Democrats and the mainstream media to delegitimize President Donald Trump following Wednesday’s Capitol incursion, Defense officials plan to resist outside interference and continue to recognize him as Chief Commander while preventing “a military coup,” according to a report.
It was widely reported on Friday that House Speaker Nancy Pelosi asked Army Gen. Mark A. Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, to restrict the President’s access to the so-called nuclear football country, which provides launch codes for America’s large arsenal of nuclear weapons.
Pelosi contacted Milley to ask him to ignore Trump’s instructions to use certain passwords. It’s not clear what initiated the call to Milley. There appears to be no clear threat from Trump indicating that the call was made for political reasons.
Pelosi reportedly told Milley she wants to limit the president from responding to international threats during the final days of his term.
NPR reported Pelosi told her Democratic colleagues she spoke to Milley about “available precautions for preventing an unstable president from initiating military hostilities or accessing the launch codes and ordering a nuclear strike.”
“The situation of this unhinged President … could not be more dangerous and we must do everything that we can to protect the American people from his unbalanced assault on our country and our democracy,” Pelosi wrote.
But according to The New York Times, the Pentagon is remaining neutral in the partisan squabbling.
A statement from Col. Dave Butler, a spokesman for Milley, confirmed to The Times that the call took place.
“[Milley] answered her questions regarding the process of nuclear command authority,” Butler said.
According to Times reporters David Sanger and Eric Schmitt, the newspaper talked to other Pentagon officials who were allegedly reluctant to get involved in Pelosi’s political match.
“Mr. Trump, they noted, is still the commander in chief; unless he is removed, the military is bound to follow his lawful orders. While military officials can refuse to carry out orders they view as illegal — or slow the process by sending those orders for careful legal review — they cannot remove the president from the chain of command. That would amount to a military coup, the officials said,” Sanger and Schmitt reported.
“The one issue that has worried officials the most is Iran’s announcement that it has begun enriching uranium to 20 percent purity — near the quality to make a bomb. In December, Mr. Trump asked for military options that might be taken in response to Iran’s escalating production of nuclear fuel, but he was talked out of it by a number of top officials, including General Milley and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo,” the Times also reported.
Pelosi and the other Democrats used the incidents at the Capitol Building on Wednesday to explain going after Trump, and they indicated their desire to exact political vengeance against him after years of fear-warning about his emotional state during his final days in office.
Democrats have already revealed intentions to retaliate the president, and there is speculation that they would try to remove him from office by using the 25th amendment with less than two weeks remaining in his term of office.
Other Democratic politicians have also allegedly placed pressure on Milley since Wednesday. But for now, the army has officially rebuffed them and plans to stay politically neutral.
Trump is the sole figure in government with the capacity to directly command military action and the discretion to use the country’s nuclear arsenal. Any effort to deprive him the means to carry out his duties as president of national security will be unconstitutional, whether the 25th amendment is invoked, or any instructions issued to Pentagon officials by him are found to be unlawful in themselves.
President-elect Joe Biden will be inaugurated on January 20, at which point he will be in charge of the country’s military and nuclear arsenal.
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