Then-President Donald Trump asked his Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, whether the US could fire a missile at Mexico to destroy a drug lab run by the cartel, Arizona at the White House in an upcoming memoir, keeping the military action a secret. Write about your time. to the New York Times.
Trump asked about it at least twice, Esper pointed out in the book “A Secret Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times,” an advanced copy of which was reviewed by the Times. The tome is set for release on Tuesday and has gone through the Pentagon’s standard security clearance screening.
The conversation took place in the summer of 2020 at the peak of campaigning for that year’s presidential election, in which Trump disapproved of the flow of drugs from south of the border, a significant problem during his term. Esper recalled Trump asking if the US military could “fire missiles at Mexico to destroy a drug lab,” adding that Mexico’s government does not have “control” of the country.
“No one would know it was us,” Trump said after Esper’s protest, adding that he would be prepared to publicly deny the strike.
There are more shocking stories in this book. In a retelling, Esper said that former Trump policy adviser Stephen Miller suggested taking the head of deceased Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi — who died during a US raid in 2019 — and submerging it in pig blood. drowned. Miller proposed moving the body part around to warn other terrorists.
Esper said it would be a war crime. Miller denied the episode to the Times, saying the former Defense Secretary was a “silly”.
The former Pentagon chief is the latest member of Trump’s inner circle to document the chaotic final days of his administration, portraying the former president as obsessed with being re-elected after being acquitted of his first impeachment trial. Esper said he was often left speechless by Trump’s requests, but did not resign because he thought he was one of the few people in the West Wing capable of averting disaster.
Esper said it never believed that Trump’s behavior rose to the level required to remove him through the 25th Amendment, the Times added.
Axios reported this week that Arizona also recalled the moment Trump asked whether his top military officials could order soldiers to shoot protesters who demonstrated after the police killing of George Floyd.
“The good news – it was not a difficult decision,” Esper writes. “Bad news – I had to figure out a way to walk back to Trump without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”
Trump fired Esper after losing the presidential election to Joe Biden in November 2020.