The claims made in a new series of articles on the last days of Donald Trump’s presidency paint a picture of systematic official obstruction of the 45th president’s efforts to honour his 2016 election promise to end “endless wars”.
Pentagon and White House officials conspired to obstruct an order from the former US president, Donald Trump, to withdraw American troops from all overseas military adventures, according to a source quoted by news website Axios on Sunday.
It reported that a Trump aide, John McEntee, delivered a hand-written memo to retired Army Colonel Douglas Macgregor, who had just been appointed an advisor to acting defence secretary Christopher Miller on November 9 2020, with the words: “This is what the president wants you to do”.
Macgregor said the withdrawal of troops from multiple countries following the US presidential election was a tall order to achieve prior to the January 20 executive branch handover.
“Then do as much as you can,” McEntee reportedly replied. MacGregor’s opinion was that Miller, who was an ‘acting’ Pentagon chief, would need presidential authority to issue such orders.
One of McEntee’s subordinates called Macgregor the next day for advice on how to draft the memo. “Let’s stick first with Afghanistan,” the colonel advised. “I think it should be midnight, 31 December 2020.” Macgregor’s opinion was that this would allow Trump to keep an election promise to get out of Afghanistan.