Trump Ordered Massive Military Withdrawal Just After Losing Election, According to New Axios Report


Former President Donald Trump ordered a massive and complete withdrawal of the U.S. Military from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Germany, and Africa in the days that followed his electoral loss to President Joe Biden in early November 2020. But the order caught the Pentagon completely off guard, and newly appointed Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller reportedly asked rhetorically, “what the fuck is this?” after receiving the memo on November 11th.

In his final episode of Axios’ “Off the rails” series that documents the Trump administration’s last days, Jonathan Swan revealed this stunning report from election night 2020 through the Jan. 6 siege of the U.S. Capitol.

Trump reportedly sent the message through his body man, John McEntee, who shared the directive with retired Army Colonel and frequent Fox News guest Douglas Macgregor, who consistently argued for troop withdrawal from Afghanistan.

From the Axios report:

John McEntee, one of Donald Trump’s most-favored aides, handed retired Army Col. Douglas Macgregor a piece of paper with a few notes scribbled on it. He explained: “This is what the president wants you to do.”

1. Get us out of Afghanistan.

2. Get us out of Iraq and Syria.

3. Complete the withdrawal from Germany.

4. Get us out of Africa.

Upon receiving the order described above, Macgregor is described as being “astonished.” He reportedly shot it down, saying to McEntee that the order of a full withdrawal from all of these locations would be difficult to accomplish by January 20th. McEntee reportedly replied by telling Macgregor to do as much as he can do.

Word eventually spread at the Pentagon of the lame-duck President’s order for a massive change in the US military global footprint in the final weeks of his presidency. Swan reports that Joint Cheifs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley and other “top military brass” were appalled by the idea. When reached to discuss at the White House, National Security advisor Robert O’Brien and White House Counsel Pat Cipollone were unaware of the order.

Swan appeared on Morning Joe Monday morning to discuss his latest report and told Washington Post’s David Ignatius that he felt no broad plan behind Trump’s withdrawal order, other than disrupting and derailing the transition to the Biden administration completely.

Watch above, via MSNBC.


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Colby Hall is the Founding Editor of He is also a Peabody Award-winning television producer of non-fiction narrative programming as well as a terrific dancer and preparer of grilled meats.