May 6, 2022

Here we go with yet another book by a former Trump administration official, telling us about all the near-misses by a mentally unstable president.

"President Donald Trump once proposed using missiles to destroy drug labs in Mexico," Willie Geist said on Morning Joe.

"It is one of the revelations in a new book from former defense secretary Mark Esper, titled 'A Sacred Oath.' Quote, when Mr. Esper raised various objections, Mr. Trump said, 'We could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs quietly,' adding, 'no one would know it was us.'

"Mr. Trump said he'd just say the United States had not conducted the strike. Mr. Esper wrote he would have thought it was a joke had he not been staring Mr. Trump in the face. The Times reports Trump asked Esper if the military put together troops on the streets after protests and riots erupted in the wake of George Floyd shot by police in Minneapolis. Referring to the demonstrators, former President Trump reportedly asked Esper, quote, 'Can't you just shoot them?'

"Esper reportedly described Trump as a, quote, 'unprincipled person who, given his self-interest, should not be in the position of public service.'

"You'll remember Esper was fired by Trump after the election was called in favor of Joe Biden. We reached out to Trump's team for comment. NBC News hasn't yet seen a copy of Esper's book. He will be a guest on Morning Joe next Tuesday.

"Mike Barnicle, fascinating, perhaps unsurprising revelations, but it joins the list of former Trump officials who sort of found Jesus when the book deal comes."

Barnicle blasted him.

"Mark Esper, secretary of defense, sits with the president of the United States, who proves by his utterances, is quoted in Mr. Esper's book, that he is unstable. As secretary of defense, he shuts up about it until the publisher hands him a check. Please! These people ought to be banned from coming on and promoting these books," he said.

Richard Haas checked in.

"Look, as a former administration official, you know, who worked for four presidents, there's certain things you have to keep quiet. It's part of the deal when you go into administration. But when you see things beyond the pale, against the law and so forth, you've got the duty to push back privately. If it is going to go ahead, that's why people should resign. They should resign in principle and explain it. To simply sit on things that are clearly unacceptable, that presidents or officials ought not to do,

"Mike is right, it raises fundamental questions whether people have met their obligations. At the end of the day, they don't work for the president as the person, they work for us."

This standard doesn't hold up under the unique circumstances of the Trump insanity.

Esper, from all accounts, is a straight arrow who took his secretary of defense job very seriously, and that's why Trump didn't like him. Everyone can talk about how he should have stood up publicly, but at least in this instance, having Mark Esper even as a temporary buffer between Trump and a military takeover was a good thing for America, and I'm glad he was there.

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