Former House Speaker Paul Ryan, former White House communications director Stephanie Grisham, and former National Security Advisor John Bolton are a few ex-Trump administration staffers who had a sudden case of morality when it came to locking up book deals. Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper will join these ranks with his memoir, “A Sacred Oath,” with a specific account concerning President Trump and the protests of 2020.
The Justice Department recently settled with the protestors who were pushed and tear-gassed at Washington’s Lafayette Square. In Esper’s book, he alleges Trump did not want protestors there that summer. Axios reports that an excerpt from Esper’s book alleges former President Trump said, as demonstrators were filling the streets around the White House following the death of George Floyd, “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?”
That moment in the first week of June, 2020, “was surreal, 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 under way in Washington, D.C.,” Esper writes.
The good news — this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Esper continues. “The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”
Esper was fired after the 2020 presidential election. He and Trump clashed on some things at the end–mainly Esper’s opposition to invoking the Insurrection Act and working with Congress on legislation to remove the names of Confederate leaders from military bases. “A Sacred Oath” was vetted at the highest levels of the Pentagon.