Defense

Trump Defense secretary recalls ‘ridiculous’ plan to send 250,000 troops to border

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who served in the role under former President Trump, recalled a “ridiculous” plan made during the Trump administration to send a quarter of a million troops to the United States’ southern border in a “60 Minutes” interview to be released Sunday.

Esper said the move had been suggested by then-White House senior adviser Stephen Miller.

“He’s behind me, and this voice talking about the caravans are coming and we need to get troops to the border, and we need a quarter-million troops,” Esper said of Miller, saying that they were in the Oval Office waiting for a meeting with Trump at the time. “And I think he’s joking, and I turn around and look at him and these dead-pan eyes, clearly he is not joking.”

Esper said he “turned squarely around to him, faced him and said ‘I don’t have a quarter-million troops to send on some ridiculous mission to the border.’”

Esper recalled that he spoke with Gen. Mark Milley, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and asked him to “check and make sure this isn’t being worked on somewhere in the building.”

“It’s just so absurd I can’t even consider it,” Esper continued after saying that people in his department were working on the plan to send a quarter-million troops to the border.

“Again, we don’t have 250,000 troops to send to the border, and to do what?” continued Esper. “It’s just ridiculous.”

Tags border policy Defense Department Donald Trump Mark Esper Mark Esper Mark Milley Stephen Miller Stephen Miller

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