According to Susan B. Glasser of The New Yorker in a piece published on Thursday, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attempted to persuade former US President Donald Trump to launch a military strike against Iran.
According to the story, General Mark Milley, chair of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned Trump, “If you do this, you’re going to have a f***ing war.”
This occurred months after Trump was rumoured to be anxious to stay in power after losing the 2020 election. According to The New Yorker, Milley, who has repeatedly warned of large-scale Israeli-Palestinian escalation, felt Trump did not desire a conflict but maintained pressing for a missile attack in reaction to multiple provocations, including from Netanyahu.
“Trump had a circle of Iran hawks around him and was close with the Israeli Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who was also urging the Administration to act against Iran after it was clear that Trump had lost the election,” according to the article.
Mike Pompeo and then-Vice President Mike Pence, like Netanyahu, allegedly advocated for action against Iran, with Pence stating it was “because they are evil.”
While in power, Netanyahu and Trump had a long-standing friendship, usually agreeing on Iran-related topics.
After his Christmas holiday, Trump called an Oval Office discussion concerning Iran on January 3rd, questioning his aides about new reports on Iran’s nuclear activity. Given the costs and implications, he was advised that nothing could be done militarily.
According to the article, Trump ultimately decided to drop the plan.
Trump attacked Milley on Thursday following accusations in a new book that senior uniformed military officers were highly frightened about the possibility of a coup following the November election and had contemplated resigning.
According to excerpts obtained by CNN from the upcoming book “I Alone Can Fix It,” written by two Washington Post journalists, Milley and other senior US military leaders discussed resigning in the event they received orders they considered illegal or dangerous.
“I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government … If I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley,” Trump said in a statement.
US officials, speaking on condition of anonymity, had privately acknowledged concerns that Trump might attempt to draw in the military to quash dissent, as fears about Trump’s potential misuse of the Insurrection Act mounted.
A planned, orderly resignation by the members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff had not been previously reported.