Trump appeared to privately concede that he lost the election three days before January 6.
In a meeting with Gen. Mark Milley, Trump said “it’s too late for us” and “we’re going to give that to the next guy.”
According to special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment, Trump had been informed that Inauguration Day was fast approaching.
President Donald Trump told Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, that a national security issue would be left for “the next guy” days before January 6, an apparent concession that Joe Biden had won the election, according to special counsel Jack Smith’s indictment.
“Yeah, you’re right, it’s too late for us,” Trump told Milley and another unnamed advisor, according to the indictment. “We’re going to give that to the next guy.”
Milley had advised Trump not to take action since Inauguration Day was just 17 days away. The Electoral College had already met in state capitals around the country, declaring Biden the winner. All that remained was the largely ceremonial certification of Biden’s victory when lawmakers read and tallied the Electoral College votes on January 6.
The meeting is a key part of Smith’s indictment of the now-former president for his actions before and during the January 6, 2021 Capitol riot. The episode adds to evidence obtained by the House January 6 committee that Trump may have been aware he lost the election while simultaneously furthering a broad campaign to overturn its results.
Milley and Trump have clashed repeatedly. The nation’s highest-ranking military officer was reportedly worried about a “Reichstag moment” during Trump’s final days in office. The former president’s desire to refute Milley is at the core of Smith’s other indictment of Trump for mishandling classified documents after leaving office. Milley was among the most senior officials to cooperate with the House January 6 committee’s investigation.
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