According to a book excerpt published Monday, the former President Donald Trump complained to his White House chief of staff that his generals were not totally loyal like Adolf Hitler's during World War II.
Why can't you be like the German generals when you flies generals? Trump asked then-White House chief of staff John Kelly, according to an excerpt from The Divider: Trump in the White House, 2017 -- 2021, co-written by New Yorker staff writer Susan Glasser and New York Times correspondent Peter Baker.
When Kelly asked Trump for clarification, the president reportedly replied by specifying The German Generals in World War II. Kelly, a retired Marine general, asked Trump if he knew that those generals tried to kill Hitler three times and almost pulled it off. According to the excerpt, Trump dismissed Kelly's historically accurate description, insisting, No, no, no, they were totally loyal to him. The excerpt was published Monday by the New Yorker.
The exchange was described as typical of Trump's expectation of fealty from his military officers.
The authors wrote that during the summer of 2017 Trump told Kelly that he wanted to hold a military parade and he said: Look, I don't want any wounded guys in the parade. NBC News asked Kelly and a Trump spokesman for comment.
Kelly joined the Trump administration in 2017 as a homeland security secretary and later became White House chief of staff. He left about midway through Trump's presidency.
The book excerpt focused on Gen. Mark Milley, who has been the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff since October 2019. The coming book contains a resignation letter written by Milley after the violent clearing of Lafayette Square near the White House on June 1, 2020. Milley wrote in the draft letter, which he didn't submit, that he worried that Trump was doing great and irreparable harm to the country and that he had concerns about the president's efforts to politicize the United States military. Milley wrote that he didn't think Trump understood a generation that fought against Nazism, he said, "It is now obvious to me that you don't understand that world order." Milley said that I can't be a party to that.
Milley also feared Trump's resurgence of election lies, according to the excerpt.
The Defense Department has asked for comment, according to NBC News.