President Trump wanted to shoot protesters who flooded the streets around the White House in the wake of George Floyd’s death, former Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper says in an upcoming memoir.
“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” Mr. Esper quotes the former president as saying in “A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense in Extraordinary Times,” according to Axios.
Mr. Esper, who was fired by Mr. Trump after the 2020 election, writes about dysfunction in the White House.
He describes his time there during the June 2020 protests as “surreal, sitting in front of the Resolute desk, inside the Oval Office, with this idea weighing heavily in the air, and the president red faced and complaining loudly about the protests under way in Washington, D.C.”
“The good news — this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Mr. Esper writes. “The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”
Mr. Esper‘s memoir comes out next week.
Michael Bender, a New York Times reporter who at the time was with The Wall Street Journal, also wrote in his book from last year that Mr. Trump had called for law enforcement to shoot protesters.