I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker, hit bookstores on Tuesday

By Sam Gillette and Virginia Chamlee
July 20, 2021 02:10 PM
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Rep. Liz Cheney
Rep. Liz Cheney
| Credit: Sarah Silbiger/Getty

When hundreds of angry Trump supporters attacked the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 after being incited by the president, Rep. Liz Cheney was inside with other members of congress, including Rep. Jim Jordan.

Jordan — who had supported Trump's false claims that the 2020 election was stolen — offered to help Cheney out of the aisle.

She wasn't having it, according to a new book.

"That f---ing guy Jim Jordan. That son of a b----," Cheney told Chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Mark Milley on the phone, detailing the siege, according to I Alone Can Fix It, by Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker.

"While these maniacs are going through the place, I'm standing in the aisle and he said, 'We need to get the ladies away from the aisle. Let me help you,' " recalled Cheney, then the House of Representatives' No. 3 Republican, per the book. "I smacked his hand away and told him, 'Get away from me. You f---ing did this.' "

(After Jan. 6, Jordan claimed, "I've never said that this election was stolen," even though he falsely accused Democrats of trying to steal the election in October and appeared at a "Stop the Steal" rally two days after the election, according to CNN.)

Rep. Jim Jordan
Rep. Jim Jordan
| Credit: congress.gov via Getty

This volatile scene is one of many reported in I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year. The authors, both Pulitzer-Prize winning reporters for The Washington Post, have once again published a deeply-reported look at President Donald Trump and his chaotic administration. Their previous book, A Very Stable Genius, was published in January 2020 to wide acclaim.

One of the more shocking revelations from I Alone Can Fix It made headlines before the book's publication on Tuesday. Milley once again made an appearance, this time as a heroic figure. The authors write that Milley was so concerned that Trump would attempt to stay in power via illegal measures that he put a plan in place in case of a coup, CNN was the first to report.

According to the book, Milley was also worried that Trump, now 75, was "stoking unrest" with his calls to action issued prior to the Jan. 6 riots. He likened Trump's false election claims to "a Reichstag moment. The gospel of the Führer," per the book.

In a lengthy statement released last Thursday, Trump addressed the book's claims — insisting that he never even thought about staging a coup but even 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."

Elsewhere in the statement, Trump said Milley had "no courage or skill, certainly not the type of person I would be talking 'coup' with. I'm not into coups!"

I Alone Can Fix It DONALD J. TRUMP'S CATASTROPHIC FINAL YEAR By CAROL LEONNIG and PHILIP RUCKER
Credit: Penguin Books

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Milley is far from the first person the former president has maligned. Trump also took shots at Cheney, who denounced his many baseless claims of election fraud.

In the months between the voting and Joe Biden's inauguration, Trump's allegations were repeatedly rejected by the courts and officials, including those who were Republicans.

But Trump kept up the lies — ultimately encouraging his supporters to march to the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, when Congress was holding a joint session to certify the election results.

"You'll never take back our country with weakness. You have to show strength and you have to be strong," Trump told the crowd.

While members of Congress were able to find safety during the ensuing riots, five people died because of the events that day.

Following the attack, Cheney was one of 10 Republicans who voted in favor of impeaching Trump on one count of "incitement of insurrection." (Trump is the only U.S. president to be impeached twice.)

Trump Supporters Hold "Stop The Steal" Rally In DC Amid Ratification Of Presidential Election
The attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021
| Credit: Samuel Corum/Getty

"Much more will become clear in coming days and weeks, but what we know now is enough," she said in a statement at the time. "The President of the United States summoned this mob, assembled the mob, and lit the flame of this attack. Everything that followed was his doing. None of this would have happened without the President." 

After the impeachment hearing, Cheney continued to criticize Trump's election lies. She faced increasing backlash from her colleagues because she would not, in their words, let the issue go. In May, Cheney was voted out of her position in Republican leadership.

Even after she was ousted, Cheney said she would not waver in her commitment to separate the GOP from Trump.

"We must go forward based on truth, we cannot both embrace the 'big lie' [about the election] and embrace the Constitution," she said, "and, going forward, the nation needs it. The nation needs a strong Republican Party, the nation needs a party that is based upon fundamental principles of conservatism. And I am committed and dedicated to ensuring that that's how this party goes forward and I plan to lead the fight to do that."

I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump's Catastrophic Final Year is on sale now.