A new book quotes the former president as saying that a hypothetical Washington-Lincoln ticket would face an uphill battle in beating him in an election

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Donald Trump
Donald Trump
| Credit: Brandon Bell/Getty

Though he's repeatedly (and falsely) claimed that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against him, Donald Trump believes he could have won a race against a different opponent: First U.S. President George Washington.

Trump said as much to Washington Post reporters Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, who interviewed the former president for their forthcoming book,  I Alone Can Fix It.

In one excerpt from the book, published by The Guardian over the weekend, Trump is quoted as saying that Washington — with fellow former President Abraham Lincoln as his running mate — would face an uphill battle in beating him in an election.

"I think it would be hard if George Washington came back from the dead and he chose Abraham Lincoln as his vice-president, I think it would have been very hard for them to beat me," Trump said in a two-and-a-half-hour interview with the authors.

Trump has previously attempted to draw comparisons between himself and Lincoln, saying in a 2020 presidential debate against Joe Biden, "Nobody has done more for the Black community than Donald Trump. And if you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln. I'm the least racist person in this room."

The revelation is one of many from new books about Trump's time in office, which detail how he reacted to events ranging from the Jan. 6 Capitol riots by his supporters to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I Alone Can Fix It, which will be released Tuesday, also features a stunning scene in which Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley, at the time the nation's top military officer, grew concerned over personnel moves made in the wake of the November election that Trump lost to Biden.

As the book details Milley, 63, was so concerned that he told colleagues he wanted to be "on guard" in case of an attempted coup.

"They may try, but they're not going to f------ succeed," Milley told his deputies, the authors write, according to CNN. "You can't do this without the military. You can't do this without the CIA and the FBI. We're the guys with the guns."

The book details how Milley and the heads of each branch of the military made an informal plan on "how they could block a presidential order to use the military in a way they considered illegal, or dangerous and ill-advised."

In a lengthy statement released last week, Trump insisted that he never even thought about staging a coup — but he said if he had, it would not have been with Milley.

"I never threatened, or spoke about, to anyone, a coup of our Government," Trump's statement read. "So ridiculous! Sorry to inform you, but an Election is my form of 'coup,' and if I was going to do a coup, one of the last people I would want to do it with is General Mark Milley."

In another new book, Nightmare Scenario: Inside the Trump Administration's Response to the Pandemic That Changed HistoryWashington Post journalists Yasmeen Abutaleb and Damian Paletta write that, in the early days of the pandemic, Trump privately suggested sending Americans infected with the virus to Guantánamo Bay, the American detention facility.

The authors of that book write that, in February 2020, the president asked in a meeting in the Situation Room: "Don't we have an island that we own? What about Guantánamo?"

Aides quashed the idea after the president brought it up a second time, according to Nightmare Scenario.

And in another book about the Trump administration, the former president is quoted as having allegedly said that reviled dictator Adolf Hitler "did a lot of good things."

In that book, FranklyWe Did Win This ElectionThe Inside Story of How Trump LostThe Wall Street Journal's Michael C. Bender  writes that Trump, now 75, made the remark to his then-chief of staff, John Kelly. Trump denied the claims through a spokesperson.