Esper said he was sitting in the Oval Office when the president was outraged and “complained loudly about the protests. in run to Washington “for the killing of a black man by the police.
Excerpts from Esper’s memoirs displayed by the Axios news site said Trump said, “Can’t you just shoot them? Shoot them in the legs?”
The protests, marked by violence and clashes between demonstrators 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 the Minneapolis police.
Esper’s account appears to confirm previous reports that Trump believed the military needed to intervene to quell civil unrest.
A book by journalist Michael Bender, published in previously, he had reported, citing sources, that the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, General Mark Milley, opposed Trump’s proposal to involve the military in the context of a demand from the White House master to be tough in dealing with the riots.
Bender quoted Trump as saying, “Shoot them in the legs or maybe in the feet . but be hard on them!”
US park police and National Guard forces used tear gas and stun grenades to drive protesters away from the vicinity of the White House.
Esper had at the time announced that he was against 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 military within the territory of the United States. United States.
His stance was reported to anger Trump, who fired him in November 2020.
Axios reported that Esper’s book, due out 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 “easing his burden 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.”