Recent reporting from The Guardian on excerpts of former Trump-era Defense Chief Mark Esper’s book, A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Defense Secretary in Extraordinary Times, is shedding new, terrifying light on just how desperately now-former President Donald Trump wanted the United States presidency to be a dictator-style free for all, in which he could do whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted — even if it meant quite literally shooting protesters that he didn’t agree with.
According to the former Pentagon Chief’s tell-all, then-President Trump became irate during a meeting with Esper, his Vice President Mike Pence, and other senior administration officials when military leaders downright refused his suggestion to shoot protesters “in the leg or something” following the brutal police murder of George Floyd. Esper claims that as soon as he, Pence, and others refused to go along with this heinous plan, Donald Trump became irate, and began berating and spewing profanity at his vice president and others in the meeting.
“You are losers!” Donald Trump allegedly screamed at those in the room. “You are all f*cking losers!”
The former Trump Administration Defense Chief said outbursts like this were far from uncommon with Donald Trump during his term. However, this particular temper tantrum truly struck Esper, as he claims he’d never seen Trump quite that furious, or spew such intense vitriol at so many people in the same room at one time — which says included Pence, Attorney General William Barr, and Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
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“He repeated the foul insults again, this time directing his venom at the vice-president as well, who sat quietly, stone-faced, in the chair at the far end of the semi-circle closest to the Rose Garden,” Esper wrote in his tell-all. “I never saw him yell at the vice-president before, so this really caught my attention.”
Esper’s recollection of this particular Trump tantrum was mostly corroborated by former Attorney General Bill Barr in his recent tell-all book, though Barr’s telling of the story didn’t include the profanity spewed at Pence, or the suggestion to shoot Floyd protesters.
“Trump shouted, ‘None of you have any backbone to stand up to the violence,’ and suggested we were fine with people ‘burning down our cities,'” Esper claims in his book.
Ultimately, Trump did not order the protesters of Floyd’s murder to be shot in the streets, but Esper indicates that it was crystal clear that’s what the then-president wanted to see happen.
“[He was] waiting, it seemed, for one of us to yield and simply agree,” Esper wrote. “That wasn’t going to happen.”
Read the full report from The Guardian here.
Featured image via official White House photos by Tia Dufour