Did Trump suggest shooting protesters? Defense Minister answers

Excerpts from a book by former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were published on Monday, in which he spoke about the reaction of former US President Donald Trump to protests in front of the White House after the killing of George Floyd.

Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in excerpts from his book published on Monday that former President Donald Trump, while in office, expressed his deep annoyance with people who were demonstrating in front of the White House by saying: "Can't you simply shoot them?"

Esper said he was "sitting in the Oval Office when the president got angry and complained loudly about the protests that were taking place in Washington" over the police killing of a black man.

Excerpts from Esper's diary, seen by the Axios news website, said Trump said: "Can't you simply shoot them? Shoot them in the legs?"

The protests, which were punctuated by violence and clashes between protesters and security forces, were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country after the killing of black American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

Esper's account appears to confirm earlier reports that Trump believed the military should intervene to quell civil unrest.

And a book by journalist Michael Bender issued earlier had reported, quoting sources, that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, opposed Trump's proposal to involve the army in the context of a request from the White House master to be tough in dealing with the unrest.

Bender had quoted Trump as saying: "Shoot them in the legs or maybe the feet but be tough on them."

The US Parks Police and National Guard forces used tear gas and stun grenades to keep protesters away from the vicinity of the White House.

Esper had announced at the time that he opposed the activation of the "Intifada Act" (passed two hundred years ago), which was rarely used, and which gives the president the authority to deploy the US armed forces within the territory of the United States.


Did Trump suggest shooting protesters? Defense Minister answers Excerpts from a book by former US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper were published on Monday, in which he spoke about the reaction of former US President Donald Trump to protests in front of the White House after the killing of George Floyd.  Former US Defense Secretary Mark Esper said in excerpts from his book published on Monday that former President Donald Trump, while in office, expressed his deep annoyance with people who were demonstrating in front of the White House by saying: "Can't you simply shoot them?"  Esper said he was "sitting in the Oval Office when the president got angry and complained loudly about the protests that were taking place in Washington" over the police killing of a black man.  Excerpts from Esper's diary, seen by the Axios news website, said Trump said: "Can't you simply shoot them? Shoot them in the legs?"  The protests, which were punctuated by violence and clashes between protesters and security forces, were part of a wave of demonstrations that swept the country after the killing of black American George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.  Esper's account appears to confirm earlier reports that Trump believed the military should intervene to quell civil unrest.  And a book by journalist Michael Bender issued earlier had reported, quoting sources, that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, opposed Trump's proposal to involve the army in the context of a request from the White House master to be tough in dealing with the unrest.  Bender had quoted Trump as saying: "Shoot them in the legs or maybe the feet but be tough on them."  The US Parks Police and National Guard forces used tear gas and stun grenades to keep protesters away from the vicinity of the White House.  Esper had announced at the time that he opposed the activation of the "Intifada Act" (passed two hundred years ago), which was rarely used, and which gives the president the authority to deploy the US armed forces within the territory of the United States.  It was reported that his stance angered Trump, who fired him in November 2020.  Axios reported that Esper's book, which will be released on May 10, has been seen by the Pentagon, generals and administration officials.  The book includes the description of Esper Joe, the circle close to Trump, as a "surrealist", noting that the suggestion that soldiers shoot Americans was "relaxing its weight on the atmosphere."  In his memoir, "A Holy Oath," Esper wrote, "I had to find a way to get Trump out of this atmosphere without causing the chaos I was trying to avoid."


It was reported that his stance angered Trump, who fired him in November 2020.

Axios reported that Esper's book, which will be released on May 10, has been seen by the Pentagon, generals and administration officials.

The book includes the description of Esper Joe, the circle close to Trump, as a "surrealist", noting that the suggestion that soldiers shoot Americans was "relaxing its weight on the atmosphere."

In his memoir, "A Holy Oath," Esper wrote, "I had to find a way to get Trump out of this atmosphere without causing the chaos I was trying to avoid."
Previous Post Next Post