Mark Esper, secretary of Defense under former President Trump, appeared Monday on Special Report With Bret Baier, to promote his new book, A Sacred Oath. In the book, Esper details some of the behind-the-scenes happenings that would be shocking had they come from any other administration. For instance, Esper claims that Trump wanted to call up active-duty military to shoot protestors in the summer of 2020.
“I said that I would never do anything illegal, immoral or unethical,” Esper said. “But you suggest that you were being asked to,” Baier cut in. “It was being suggested by the president,” Esper replied, “and we successfully pushed back on that. We, being Attorney General Barr, Gen. Milley, myself, and walked him back from that notion.”
Trump’s desire to have the military shoot protestors is just one example of his antidemocratic tendencies. Esper went on to cite Trump’s culpability in the Jan. 6 insurrection at the Capitol, and his constant lies about the 2020 election as reasons why he now views his former boss as a threat to American democracy.
“Do you think Donald Trump was a threat to democracy?” Baier asked. “I think that given the events of Jan. 6, given how he’s undermined the election results, he incited people to come to D.C., stirred them up that morning and failed to call them off,” Esper said, “to me, that threatens our democracy.” “So, yes?” Baier followed up. Esper replied, “What else can you conclude, Bret?”
And Esper does not want to see Trump make another run at the presidency in 2024, instead preferring a candidate that will not be so divisive.
“So do you think he is going to run for president again?” Baier asked. “I don’t know. I hope he doesn’t,” Esper said. “I hope that the Republican base can figure out that while President Trump pushed a lot of traditional Republican ideas … there are other candidates out there that could run that could do it without dividing the people, without creating such tension within the country, and do it by growing the base as well. I think there are candidates out there that can do that.”
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