Trump slams Esper as ‘lightweight’ in response to ’60 Minutes’ interview
Former President Trump called his former Defense secretary a “lightweight” and a “RINO” in response to a “60 Minutes” interview that covered a series of shocking claims about the former commander in chief.
Early excerpts from former Defense Secretary Mark Esper’s new book about his time in the Trump administration, due out this week, accuses the former president of wanting to shoot racial justice protesters in the legs and fire missiles into Mexico to crush cartels.
In response to CBS’s questions about the interview, Trump disputed those allegations and others, accusing Esper of being a failure as Defense secretary.
“Mark Esper was weak and totally ineffective and because of it, I had to run the military,” Trump said in a statement to “60 Minutes.”
“Mark Esper was a stiff 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 figurehead, and I realized it very early on.”
In his statement, Trump also refuted claims that Esper had blocked consideration of employing the Insurrection Act, which could have been used to deploy active-duty troops to deal with civil unrest.
“This is Fake News,” Trump said of those reports. “The fact is I didn’t need to invoke the act and never did.”
The former president said “no comment” in response to whether he asked if he could “attack the drug cartels with missiles.”
Esper’s interview on “60 Minutes” comes ahead of the release of his new book, “A Sacred Oath,” set for Tuesday.
Esper was fired in November 2020 amid arguments with Trump over police brutality and the response to protests over racial inequality in the U.S.
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