Recent reports have revealed that Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of The Atlantic magazine, is grappling with concerns about potential repercussions if former President Donald Trump secures a second term in office. This apprehension seems to be shared by others, including General Mark Milley, the departing Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who also harbors fears that Trump may take punitive action against him.
Goldberg conducted an extensive profile of Milley, which was published on Thursday, and the title itself reflects a certain bias: “The Patriot. How General Mark Milley protected the Constitution from Donald Trump.”
In the article, Goldberg reports that Milley has confided in friends about his belief that if Trump were to return to the White House, the newly elected president might target him. “He’ll start throwing people in jail, and I’d be on the top of the list,” Milley reportedly expressed. However, he has also conveyed his skepticism about the prospect of Trump being reelected.
It’s worth noting that during the closing days of the Trump administration, Milley engaged in a controversial act by contacting his Chinese counterpart to offer assurances that he would forewarn Beijing in case of any sudden U.S. attack—a move that Trump had never intended.
Goldberg goes on to suggest that a Trump reelection would likely result in a lack of individuals like former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper or General Milley in his administration, as well as officials of similar stature and independence such as John Kelly, H. R. McMaster, or James Mattis. He also points out that Trump and his allies have previously made threats of imprisonment against officials they deemed disloyal, creating a genuine concern that these threats could be carried out in a second Trump presidency.