Trump responds to complaint from protesters who fired
Former United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has stories to tell, and he’ll tell them to you for $24.50. You’ve probably heard his claim that the president he served under, Donald J. Trump, once considered shooting protesters during the summer 2020 George Floyd protests. Or his claim that Trump wanted to send 10 000 American soldiers on active duty in the country. right next to the capital. Or that Santa Monica’s finest, Trump adviser Stephen Miller, wanted to go through the Middle Ages against ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi in an act Esper told him was a war crime. Or that same Miller called for sending a quarter of a million (!) American troops to the border to counter the Caravans, a move that worked so well when various right-wing governors tried it with the National Guard. Or Esper’s claim that Trump wanted to launch missiles at Mexico in the battle against the cartels.
Now that Esper has appeared on 60 minutes On Sunday, we’re reminded he saw it all – especially the stuff about using the security apparatus to crush protests, which Esper told a national TV audience was the stuff of. of “banana republics” and “authoritarian regimes” – and said nothing until it was time for the book. Did Esper think the American people should know that the guy he was about to reelect (despite 7 million others of them voting for the other guy) was fussing about using the powers of his office to attack the fundamental First Amendment rights of his political opponents?
Apparently not. Rather than quitting and making it known, Esper made the perhaps understandable plea to stay in the game and try to prevent worse things from happening. With Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Mark Milley, Hope says he listed a list of things they should prevent from happening, including “no strategic retreats, no unnecessary wars” and “no misuse of the military”. It’s hard to argue that they didn’t have better judgment on these issues than Donald Trump, but the fact is they weren’t elected to make these decisions. What they took upon themselves created a constitutional fiasco. The US military has a civilian commander, and we were stupid enough to make Donald Trump that guy. The course of action, consistent with the Secretary of Defense’s constitutional role, was to resign and tell the public what was going on.
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60 minutes also went to Trump to get his version of these events, and it turned out to be even more revealing. The former president eagerly confirmed throughout the text that he was really referring to his own Secretary of Defense as “Yesper,” an apparent suggestion that Esper was a Yes Man. Trump also appeared to concede that Esper was right that he was fired for not being loyal enough to The Leader. (“I fired Yesper because he was a RINO,” Trump’s response begins, and RINO has come to mean, in Trumpist parlance, insufficiently Trumpist.) That this happened during the transition period , when Trump was doing drastic changes to the leadership structure of the national security apparatus while agitating to reject the results of an election he lost and stay in power, is of particular concern.
Trump has also issued denials that don’t exactly add up. He denied talking about shooting protesters in the legs, but his alibi is not ironclad:
It’s a complete lie, and 10 witnesses can prove it. Mark Esper was weak and totally ineffective, and because of that I had to lead the army. I eliminated ISIS, Qasem Soleimani, al Baghdadi, rebuilt the army with 2.5 trillion dollars, created Space Force, and much more. Mark Esper was a badass 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 a figurehead, and I realized that early on. It was recommended to me by some very weak RINOs and that’s what it turned out to be.
So there are 10 witnesses who will support Trump’s account, but he chooses not to name a single one. And then he quickly switches to calling Esper a stiff RINO. You have to think, given the similarity here to how Trump would react to a slight perception in person, that it was dictated by spades.
But then there was a truly revealing look at how Trump – probably accurately – views his own base.
Q: A few times President Trump suggested Esper “attack the drug cartels with missiles”.
He had to deny the blatantly authoritarian repressions of speech and protest. But bombing Mexico? It’s good for business, at least if you’re a far-right politician. Certainly, Trump does not admit to suggesting this. His non-denial does the job, and smartly too. At the very least, he doesn’t want to tell the Republican base that he would rule out bombing our neighbors.
In the end, he cultivated a movement where everything is justified at The Border, that is to say the place outside the walls of the American citadel. The specification of the cartels here would go much further if Trump and his fellow travelers admitted that there are people arriving at the southern border who are not violent criminals out to destroy the America you know and love. But the mother and son in search of a better life have barely earned a mention in the half-decade since “and some, I guess, are good people,” and that’s no coincidence. Instead, we hear about MS-13 and how immigrants are making the country “dirtier” from various paranoid fringe snake oil salesmen who have now taken over one of our two main political parties. This nationalist siege mentality, coupled with authoritarian instincts where the enemies within must also be crushed, should surely end well for this country.
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