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.
Former Pentagon Mark Esper is releasing a book about his time in the Trump administration this week, and in early excerpts accuses the former president of wanting to shoot racial justice protestors in the legs and fire missiles into Mexico to crush cartels.
In response to CBS’ 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,” said the statement from Trump 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 using the Insurrection Act, which could have deployed 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.”
This is an excerpt from The Hill.
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