The footage prompted a flurry of criticism from lawmakers and several former senior military officials who said they risked dragging the traditionally apolitical military into a contentious domestic political situation.
Milley’s letter was dated June 8, a week after the incident, according to The New Yorker. The article was based on “The Divider: Trump in the White House 2017-2021”, a forthcoming book by Peter Baker and Susan Glasser.
“The events of the past two weeks have caused me to do some deep soul-searching, and I can no longer faithfully support and carry out your orders as Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,” Milley wrote, according to The New Yorker. . “I am convinced that you have caused significant and irreparable harm to my country. I believe that you have made a concerted effort over time to politicize the United States military.”
The report says Milley sought advice regarding the resignation letter, including from former Chairman of the General Staff Joseph Dunford, retired General James Dubik, an expert on military ethics, as well as members of Congress and former Bush and Obama administration officials.
Milley ultimately decided not to quit.
“Holy shit,” Milley told his team, according to The New Yorker. “I’m just going to fight him.”
“If they want to court-martial me or put me in jail, go ahead,” Milley added. “But I will fight from within.”
A spokesperson for the Joint Chiefs of Staff declined to comment to CNN on the report.
Milley would later publicly apologize for his involvement in the incident in a pre-recorded speech at National Defense University.
“I shouldn’t have been there. My presence at that time and in that environment created a perception of the military being involved in domestic politics. learned, and I sincerely hope that all of us can learn from it,” Milley said during his remarks.