Post by Tennesseer on May 13, 2022 16:25:40 GMT -5
Trump’s Former Aides and Advisers on the Peril He Poses
Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper agreed with an interviewer that President Trump posed “a threat to democracy.” Other former administration officials have expressed similar concerns.
In his new book “A Sacred Oath,” released earlier this week, Mark T. Esper, the former defense secretary, revealed that President Donald J. Trump in 2020 had floated the idea of launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” and asked why the military could not “just shoot” racial justice protesters in Washington in the legs.
Mr. Esper also described his concerns that Mr. Trump might misuse the military during the 2020 election, for example by asking soldiers to seize ballot boxes.
On Monday, when a Fox News host asked if he thought President Trump “was a threat to democracy,” Mr. Esper was blunt.
“I think that given the events of Jan. 6, given how he has undermined the election results, he incited people to come to D.C., stirred them up that morning and failed to call them off, to me that threatens our democracy,” he said.
“So, yes?” asked the host, Bret Baier.
Mr. Esper replied: “What else can you conclude, Bret?”
That comment, from a man who has also served as secretary of the Army and chief of staff of the conservative Heritage Foundation, was seen by some as a startlingly direct condemnation. But Mr. Esper was not the first former Trump administration official to go beyond criticisms of President Trump’s temperament or specific policies to say he posed a threat to American democracy itself.
Here is a compilation of comments by Mr. Esper and other former officials, made during and after President Trump’s term in office.
MARK T. ESPER, secretary of defense (July 2019-November 2020) “It was a very troubling event. The moment, it was an insurrection, an attempt to overturn a free and fair election and to prevent the peaceful transfer of power. And it [sic] was right to be impeached.”
STEPHANIE GRISHAM, White House press secretary and communications director (July 2019-April 2020) “Everybody’s showing their fealty to them, he’s on his revenge tour to people who dared to vote for impeachment. I want to just warn people, once he takes office, if he were to win, he doesn’t have to worry about re-election anymore, he will be about revenge, he will probably have some pretty draconian policies.”
MILES TAYLOR, chief of staff, Department of Homeland Security (February 2019-September 2019) and author of the anonymously published book “A Warning” “I’m still astounded by the countless Trump officials who privately agreed with me that he was a threat to democracy yet *still* remain silent. Why?”
JOHN F. KELLY, secretary of homeland security (January 2017-July 2017) and White House chief of staff (July 2017-January 2019) “What happened on Capitol Hill yesterday is a direct result of his poisoning the minds of people with the lies and the frauds.”