Mark Esper says Trump pushed ‘dangerous’ ideas, but stayed quiet until peddling ‘A Sacred Oath’ book

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Mark Esper, the former Pentagon chief fired by Donald Trump, now calls him a “danger to democracy.” He said that to Fox’s Bret Baier.If he felt so strongly, why did Esper wait until now–when he has a book being published – to speak out?This is the pattern of so many ex-Trump aides who suddenly found their conscience when it was in their financial interest to do so. They have every right to tell their story, but from John Bolton to Omarosa to Stephanie Grisham to his niece Mary, the revelations seem tied to royalties. They engage in various degrees of self-justification and self-criticism as to why they stayed silent. The same applies to (without the financial incentive) former officials like Steve Bannon and others who have slammed Trump while cooperating with journalists’ books.ABORTION PROTESTS AT JUSTICES’ HOMES FUEL A NEW ROUND OF RECRIMINATIONSIn his “60 Minutes” interview, Esper said he felt that by staying he could keep fighting what he considered reckless Trump proposals. Had he spoken out, the president would have fired him, he said, and “I had no confidence that anybody that came in behind me would not be a real Trump loyalist. And Lord knows what would have happened then.”
US Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks after he was sworn in as President Donald Trump looks on in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, DC, on July 23, 2019. – The Senate Tuesday voted overwhelmingly 90 to 8 to confirm President Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of defense, Mark Esper, giving the Pentagon its first permanent chief since James Mattis stepped down in January. 
(Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)The 45th president responded as he always does, attacking those he once praised when hiring them, calling Esper a “lightweight” and “figurehead” whose inadequacies meant that he, Trump, had to run the Pentagon. (Maybe a wee bit of exaggeration there.)Here is what Esper alleges in his book “A Sacred Oath,” based on an excerpt in Politico and other outlets that have obtained the book:Trump wanted to “shut down” all U.S. embassies in Africa.Trump wanted to send “missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs.” Trump wanted to send 250,000 troops to the southern border.Trump wanted to dip the decapitated head of a terrorist in pig’s blood and display it as a warning to other Islamist fighters.Trump wanted to attack a senior Iranian military officer who was operating outside the country.Trump wanted to reactivate two retired military officers who had criticized him – Adm. William McRaven, who led the raid that killed Osama bin Laden, and Gen. Stanley McChrystal – and then court-martial them.LOOKING FOR THE LEAKER: WHAT WAS THE IDEOLOGICAL MOTIVATION FOR PROVIDING ROE V. WADE REVERSAL DRAFT?Trump was “enraged” as protestors massed outside the White House in the wake of the George Floyd killing. “He thought that the protests made the country look weak, made us look weak and ‘us’ meant him.” So he told the chairman of the Joint Chiefs, “Can’t you just shoot them, just shoot them in the legs or something?”SUBSCRIBE TO HOWIE’S MEDIA BUZZMETER PODCAST, A RIFF ON THE DAY’S HOTTEST STORIESTrump wanted to meet with Taliban leaders at Camp David and cut a peace deal, as was reported after the fact. Esper thought it would be egregious to “be sipping tea with these terrorists, especially while we still had troops in a combat zone. It would be breaking faith with them, their families and our veterans.” The president killed the plan with a week to go after a car bombing in Kabul.CLICK HERE TO GET THE FOX NEWS APPThat’s a pretty sobering list.Now I suppose Trump defenders could say his style was to toss out lots of ideas, and he didn’t wind up doing any of these things. Esper credits the strong pushback by him and his administration allies.But it sure seems late in the game to be making these charges in book form.

Mojtaba Sadira

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