- A new book says Gen. Mark Milley viewed the Trump advisor Stephen Miller as “a Rasputin character.”
- “I Alone Can Fix It” details a conflict between Milley and Miller over the George Floyd protests.
- Milley is said to have told Miller to “shut the f— up” over the way he described the protests.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Gen. Mark Milley thought of the Trump-era White House advisor Stephen Miller as “a Rasputin character, always whispering devilish ideas in the king’s ear,” a new book about the last days of the Trump administration says.
An excerpt from “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year” by the Washington Post journalists Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker says that Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, confided in aides about his strong feelings regarding Miller.
Milley was said to have likened Miller to Grigori Rasputin, an influential Russian political figure also called the “Mad Monk,” who held significant influence over the last czar, Nicholas II, and his family. The self-professed holy man was later murdered by aristocrats.
According to Leonnig and Rucker, this tension between Milley and Miller, who was then senior advisor for policy and the White House director for speechwriting, came to the fore during last summer’s protests over George Floyd’s murder.
The book details a tense exchange between the two men after it said Miller asked President Donald Trump to use US troops to quell the protests.
“Mr. President, you have to show strength. They’re burning the country down,” the book quotes Miller as saying during a meeting.
Per the book, Milley then “whipped his head around” and castigated Miller, saying: “Stephen, shut the f— up. They’re not burning the f—ing country down.”
The book further says that throughout this exchange, Trump watched the two “silently and eagerly, as if the argument between his advisors were a pay-per-view fight on HBO.”
The Office of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and Miller did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Insider.
In a statement Friday, Trump said “never once did I have a discussion with him” – Milley – “about bringing in the Military, or a ‘coup.'”
That statement, however, was responding not to reporting about the racial-justice protests but to separate reporting from “I Alone Can Fix It” indicating that Milley and others feared Trump was pursuing a coup in the aftermath of the 2020 election. In a previous statement, writing that he’s “not into coups,” Trump added that even if he was, he “wouldn’t want to commit one with Gen. Mark Milley.”