This story contains a correction.
In confirmation of your worst fears about the disgraced former president Donald Trump, the new memoir by his former Defense Secretary Mark Esper reveals that Trump wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act during the BLM protests in Washington D.C. in the summer 0f 2020 and needed to be talked out of simply shooting the protestors.
“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” Trump reportedly asked Esper in one Oval Office meeting.
Esper makes the claim in his new book A Sacred Oath in which he details his struggle with Trump in opposing the then-president’s determination to use the Insurrection Act to mobilize federal troops to put an end to the unrest in the streets of the nation’s capital. It was a move that Esper vehemently opposed.
Esper describes a meeting that took place in early June of 2020 as “surreal,” painting a picture in which he was “sitting in front of the Resolute desk, inside the Oval Office, with this idea weighing heavily in the air, and the president red-faced and complaining loudly about the protests underway in Washington, D.C.”
After Trump questioned his defense secretary about the possibility of having federal troops simply mow down the protestors, Esper said this about his own reaction:
“The good news — this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Esper writes. “The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”
The excerpts of the memoir so far don’t reveal what Esper said to change Trump’s authoritarian mind — the better to sell books, one supposes — but, luckily for the BLM protestors, he was successful, although members of the U.S. Secret Service, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Washington D.C. National Guard, the Federal Bureau of Prisons, the Arlington County Police Department, U.S. Marshals, the DEA, the FBI, and the ATF all managed to bash some heads while clearing Lafayette Square to set up a photo op for Trump in front of St. John’s church across from the White House.
Esper’s memoir A Sacred Oath reportedly underwent a full-fledged clearance process by the Pentagon according to Axios, which says that reviews were conducted by “nearly three dozen 4-star generals, senior civilians, and some Cabinet members.”
The book confirms reports of similar accusations made by journalist Michael Bender in his book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election” last year, but is the first account by someone actually present in the meetings with Trump.
Hopefully, such accounts will help convince enough people of Donald Trump’s unsuitability for holding any sort of public office ever again. Don’t count on sufficient numbers of Republicans to get the message, however, without an indictment of the former president.
Correction: This story’s reference to the U.S. Park Police participating in the police action to clear Lafayette Square has been deleted. A US Department of the Interior inspector’s general report concluded that the agency did not participate in clearing the square.
Original reporting by Timothy Evans at Raw Story.