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President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus as Gen. Mark Milley listens President Donald Trump speaks about the coronavirus as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark Milley listens, at the White House, Washington, April 1, 2020 (AP photo by Alex Brandon).

With U.S. Generals Rebuking Trump, the Inconceivable Is No Longer Unimaginable

Thursday, June 25, 2020

In the most heated moment so far of the anti-racism protests unfolding in the United States, something remarkable happened. After President Donald Trump made some of the most incendiary and alarming statements of a presidency filled with them, military figures that had kept quiet started speaking out. But it resulted in the type of political reassurance that is normally only needed in countries whose commitment to democracy is questionable.

Many observers who worry about the state of American democracy under Trump felt relief when top military leaders, one after the other, started rebuking the president’s assaults on basic democratic norms. They all came after the violent assault on peaceful protesters near the White House on June 1 and Trump’s threat to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty troops on the streets of American cities to quell demonstrations and unrest. ...

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