President Donald Trump fired back at Mark Esper after the former defense secretary trashed the 45th POTUS while promoting his new book.
Esper attacked Trump during an interview on 60 Minutes while trying to sell his anti-Trump book.
“This is a complete lie, and 10 witnesses can back it up,” Trump said in a statement to 60 Minutes when asked about Esper’s claim he suggested shooting protesters.
“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, 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.”
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 8, 2022
Esper claims Trump floated the idea of bombing drug cartels inside Mexico too.
Below is a partial transcript of the interview:
Mark Esper: He would say to– to go after the cartels.
And we would have this private discussion where I’d say, “Mr. President, I– you know, I– I understand the motive.”
Because he was very serious about dealing with drugs in America.
I get that, we all understand, but I had to explain to him, “We– we can’t do that. It would violate international law. It would be terrible for our neighbors to the south. It would, you know, impact us in so many ways. Why– why don’t we do this instead?”
Norah O’Donnell: You politely push back on the idea. Did President Trump really say, “No one would know it was us?”
Mark Esper: Yes. Yes. I– I– he– he said that. And I– I just thought it was fanciful, right? Because, of course, it would be us.
I was reluctant to tell this story.
Because I think– I– I thought, people won’t believe this.
That they’ll think I’m just making it up and folks in– in– in Trump’s orbit will– will dispute it.
And then I was having dinner– after the election in 2020 with a fellow Cabinet member.
And– and he said to me, he goes, “You know, remember that time when President Trump suggested you shoot mess– m– missiles into Mexico?”
And I said to him, “You– you heard that?”
He goes, “Oh, yeah. I– I couldn’t believe it. And I couldn’t believe how– how well you managed and talked him down from that.”
And at that moment, I knew I gotta write the story. Because at least have one witness who will verify that this really did happen.
⚡️ In his new memoir, “A Sacred Oath,” former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper writes that he had to press President Trump to send aid to Ukraine, and also walked the president back from ideas such as shooting protesters and missile strikes in Mexico. https://t.co/TZC1PvcbRP
— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 9, 2022