Esper’s Book Says Trump Suggested Shooting BLM Protestors in the Legs

Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks as President Donald Trump listens, during a press briefing in the Rose Garden, May 15, 2020. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

(New York Daily News/TNS) — Former President Donald Trump suggested shooting Black Lives Matter protestors in the legs when the demonstrations neared the White House, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper writes in a new memoir.

“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” Trump asked the newly appointed Esper in a tense Oval Office meeting on June 1, 2020, according to the book.

Esper, who was abruptly fired by Trump after Election Day, recalled the “surreal” experience of hearing the commander-in-chief discuss opening fire on American protesters.

“(I was) 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 underway in Washington, D.C.,” Esper wrote.

Excerpts of Esper’s forthcoming book were revealed Monday by Axios.

The former secretary of the Army said he explained to Trump that he could not invoke the centuries-old Insurrection Act to justify a violent crackdown on demonstrators even if they were close to the White House.

“The good news — this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Esper continued, “The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”

More than 30 top military officials read Esper’s book as part of a classified vetting process, Axios reported.

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