Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense Mark Esper hits the panic button over disastrous church photo op

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You know a political maneuver is playing poorly when the people involved with it start leaking about how it was someone else’s idea, and start trying to distance themselves from the whole thing. We’ve seen precisely that playing out today with Donald Trump’s decision to have the military fire tear gas on peaceful protesters, to clear the way for his church photo op.

After Donald Trump faced backlash from the worldwide head of the Episcopal Church today, we saw media leaks about how the idea for the stunt allegedly came from everyone from Bill Barr to Hope Hicks. We have no way of knowing the real story, but the point is that people in the Trump White House are now trying to make sure others within the White House take the blame for the failed stunt. Now Trump’s Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is taking things a step further.

Mark Esper, who participated in the church photo shoot, is now telling NBC News that he didn’t even know Trump was taking him to the church. Esper is making the incredible claim that he thought Trump was merely taking him to the park to show him a “vandalized bathroom.”


Again, we don’t know if Esper is telling the truth or not – but that’s not the story here. The story is that the church stunt is playing so poorly, Esper is trying to distance himself from it as throughly as he can, and he’s putting all the blame directly on Trump.

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