September 23, 2023

OBSESSION: Top US general irked ex-president criminal admissions on tape

OBSESSION: Top US general irked ex-president criminal admissions on tape

When the dust settles, the multiply indicted ex-president will likely have to admit that getting irked over a subordinate led him to the downfall.

In its original German, that is der untergang, also the name of a much replayed foreign film

Donald Trump provided Jack Smith with invaluable evidence that could end up convicting him due to many admissions made on audio tapes, and we may now have an explanation.

Trump was utterly obsessed with one man.

While sitting for interviews for the many books published in the aftermath of his presidency, Trump would have aides audiotape his statements.

Apparently, the twice-impeached ex-president (he wasn’t yet indicted then) wanted to ensure that he was quoted accurately.

But in so doing, his hatred of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, General Mark Milley, became an ongoing topic.

Now, his admissions have backfired spectacularly.

Trump might have wanted national defense documents to embarrass Milley, according to reporting on Twitter from CBS News’s Robert Costa. He wrote:

“(Thread) learning some new things this morning about why this all happened and the motivation, especially for the audio from 2021 discussing classified material. In short, it comes down to one person: *Milley.* Trump loathed his coverage in press, in books, per multiple sources…”

His obsession began in 2021. It was the year prior to Republicans led by Trump whitewashing the insurrection, during which Gen. Milley was cast as a hero for refusing to implement an unconstitutional order.

Meanwhile, Trump remained – at the time – persona non grata even among most Republicans (back then).

Special Prosecutor Jack Smith found that it was in the Milley-related exchanges that Trump made many statements regarding his intentions in keeping the documents.

This was especially true if Trump used documents that had any markings. It would be strong evidence of intent.

Aides worried that Trump discussed top-secret material not in his possession.

And then, two elements may prove valuable to both the Florida case and any January 6th case.

Trump mentioned Meadows in recordings, and Mark Meadows made admissions on tape during interviews for the same books.

The former Chief of Staff may be the one to damn Trump.

“Magadonia” noticed that the former North Carolina Freedom Caucus legislator had gone underground and suspected that Meadows was cooperating fully because he had plenty of political exposure.

It is an almost established fact, or at least “accepted fact,” that Meadows burned documents on many occasions.

Costa noted on Twitter (story continues below):

Yesterday on her show, MSNBC’s Nicole Wallace said that her George W. Bush White House Counsel for Ethics, Richard Painter, “would have marched me to jail himself” had she ever destroyed a document.

But to revisit the primary subject.

Everyone understands that Trump is one of the most insecure, jealous, reckless, and arrogant narcissists on Earth.

Nobody is surprised the upstanding Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff irked him severely.

The general openly warned of a “Reichstag moment” that Trump might try to use to cling to power, like Hitler, illegally.

If the twice-indicted ex-president wanted the material to humiliate General Milley, it would be significant proof of intent.

But what an evidentiary find!

How often does one have tapes and tapes and tapes of a man practically convicting himself, proving intent without a doubt?

Now it makes sense as to both why they have so many tapes and why they are such topical and invaluable evidence.

It may also explain why his lawyers’ attorney-client privilege was busted through that much easier.

Trump could easily have had a lawyer present but attorney-client privilege doesn’t attach if a non-client is present.

Regardless, now we know why Jack Smith might’ve found this to be a treasure.

And that’s leaving the orange-faced manager of Mar-a-Lago supremely irked and facing 37 new criminal charges on top of the 34 old ones in Manhattan.

This piece is based largely on reporting by CBS News’s Robert Costa on Twitter as linked above.

I can be reached at, and @JasonMiciak

Editor’s note: This is an opinion column that solely reflects the opinions of the author. 

Jason Miciak

Jason Miciak is an associate editor and opinion writer for Occupy Democrats. He's a Canadian-American who grew up in the Pacific Northwest. He is a trained attorney, but for the last five years, he's devoted his time to writing political news and analysis. He enjoys life on the Gulf Coast as a single dad to a 15-year-old daughter. Hobbies include flower pots, cooking, and doing what his daughter tells him they're doing. Sign up to get all of my posts by email right here: