The Hill reported in 2021 that senior military officials began developing informal contingency plans in the event that then-President Donald Trump attempted to stage a coup following the 2020 election.
However, the former president received some vindication this past weekend after Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley admitted that Trump never gave him an illegal order.
According to the Daily Wire, Milley made that acknowledgment during a Sunday interview with Martha Raddatz, host of ABC's "This Week."
"Were you concerned at any time that you might receive an illegal order after Election Day?" Raddatz at one point asked the Army general.
"I never did receive an illegal order," Milley said in response. When pressed on whether he was concerned about the prospect, Milley responded that he was not.
"No, you know, I argued the case at various times for alternative courses of action. Never received an illegal order," he declared.
The Hill noted how in their book titled, "I Alone Can Fix It," Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker reported that Milley and his deputies discussed the prospect of Trump staging a coup following the 2020 election.
"They may try, but they’re not going to f‑‑‑‑‑‑ succeed," Leonnig and Rucker quoted Milley as telling his deputies as the election results were being contested.
For his part, Trump has consistently denied having had any plans to retain power through military force. The Hill quoted a statement he released in July of 2021 that read, "I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government."
"So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,' and 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 added.
In his interview with Raddatz, Milley also dismissed any suggestion that there could be a repeat of the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill.
"No, I’m not nervous about it," Milley told her. "I don’t get nervous about a lot of things. I’ve seen a lot of combat. So I’m beyond that actually.
"I am confident that the United States and the democracy in this country will prevail and the rule of law will prevail. I’m absolutely confident of that. And these institutions are built to be strong, resilient, and to adapt to the times, and I’m 100 percent confident we’ll be fine," he insisted.