Ahead of the release of a self-aggrandizing memoir from former Defense Secretary Mark Esper that will likely only further sow distrust in the American public over the entrenched corruption in government, former President Donald Trump pulled no punches in calling out his former employee as a “RINO incapable of leading.”
Esper joined “60 Minutes” to discuss his new book, “A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times,” with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell Sunday where particular attention was paid to the riots in Washington, D.C. following the death of George Floyd in 2020.
The former SecDef’s attempts to paint the president as a despot like those in charge of an “authoritarian regime” did not pass idly.
Evidently, O’Donnell reached out to Trump for his take and, in a rather succinct fashion, the former president dismantled Esper’s claims that included allegations he wanted to “shoot some of the protestors in the legs,” and that he referred to cabinet members as “f*cking losers.”
When asked for comment on this interview, the office of former President Donald Trump provided the following statement to 60 Minutes. https://t.co/QBrwHL2cR2 pic.twitter.com/MZUCrfxgha
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 8, 2022
“This is a complete lie, and 10 witnesses can back it up,” Trump began his response. “Mark Esper was weak and totally ineffective, and because of it, I had to run the military. I took out ISIS, Qasem Soleimani, al-Baghdadi, rebuilt the military with $2.5 trillion, created Space Force, and so much more.”
“Mark Esper was a stiff who was desperate not to lose his job. He would do anything I wanted,” the former president continued, “that’s why I called him ‘Yesper.’ He was a lightweight and figurehead, and I realized it very early on. He was recommended to me by some very weak RINOs and that is what he turned out to be.”
“I fired Yesper because he was a RINO incapable of leading,” he later noted, “and I had to run the military myself.”
“He says, ‘Can't you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something.’” That’s what former Sec. of Defense Mark Esper recalls Pres. Trump saying in a June 2020 meeting regarding rioters in Washington, DC. https://t.co/bOqYSe9wrB pic.twitter.com/gCaucxS2NM
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 8, 2022
In a snippet of the interview, Esper said, “It really caught my attention, and I thought, that – we’re at a different spot now. He’s gonna finally give a direct order to deploy paratroopers into the streets of Washington, D.C. And I’m thinking with weapons and bayonets. This would be horrible.”
At the time, reports indicated that 71 percent of Americans wanted the National Guard to be deployed to quell the violent protests that had spread across the country. As former CIA officer Bryan Dean Wright had remarked, “Right now, this country is on fire. We are facing an insurrection by people that we don’t quite understand who they are, but by all indications, they are violent leftist thugs.”
Wright further suggested that Esper was a “secretary of defense who doesn’t get it,” which was later supported by the pushback received from the Department of Defense on the language used in the memoir. Like the choice language the SecDef used in his interview, he was cautioned during an official review, “not to use certain verbs or nouns when describing historical events.”
In other words, he was told not to editorialize aspects of events that he recounted. Axios, which originally reported the excerpt from Esper’s book that alleged Trump wanted to shoot protestors in the legs, suggested, “as part of the clearance process, the book was reviewed in whole or in part by nearly three dozen 4-star generals, senior civilians, and some Cabinet members.”
However, as the Hunter Biden laptop story has proven via 51 intelligence experts, statements from biased and compromised officials don’t contribute to anything but the further erosion of trust in government leaders.
Trump went on to note that the suggestion he wanted to send troops into D.C. for the riots was incorrect and that he actually wanted them there to protect the Capitol on January 6, but corporate media has remained uninterested in investigating that.
“Wrong. I wanted to send at least 10,000 troops for January 6, because I knew many people were coming to Washington that day to protest the corrupt Presidential Election of 2020,” he wrote. “[House Speaker] Nancy Pelosi and the D.C. Mayor turned me down. 60 Minutes should ask them why they chose to not have proper security, which would have totally changed that day and allowed us to have a proper debate on the evidence of massive Election Fraud, which the Fake News media still refuses to cover whatsoever.”
Lastly, to recent stories that Trump had considered attacking Mexican “drug cartels with missiles,” the president simply replied, “No comment.”
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