Donald Trump’s Secretary of Defense Mark Esper just completely blew it

Now that Donald Trump’s assassination of Iranian leader Soleimani has blown up in his face and caused most Americans to conclude that the move has made us all less safe, Trump is desperate to convince us that he had a good reason for doing it. He and his surrogates keep insisting that there was intel that Soleimani was about to launch an “imminent” attack on one or more U.S. embassies. The trouble: none of them can even get their stories straight.

The Trump regime’s premise this week has been that if enough voices repeated the lie enough times about an imminent attack, it won’t matter that no evidence can be provided that any such attack was about to happen. Donald Trump keeps screwing that up by changing his story each time he addresses it. First there was supposedly an imminent attack coming against the U.S. embassy in Baghdad. Then there was supposedly an imminent attack coming against four U.S. embassies.

Even as Trump has been botching this with his ever-worsening hyperbole, his handpicked Secretary of Defense Mark Esper went on television today to try to clean up Trump’s mess. Instead, when Esper appeared on CNN and CBS News this morning, he admitted that no specific intel existed about an imminent attack, and that he and Trump simply “believed that it probably and could’ve been attacks against additional embassies.” Nevermind that those words don’t even really go together; Esper just screwed up and admitted that there was no intel.

In other words, Donald Trump decided on a whim to take out Soleimani, and it didn’t play out well, so he and his White House made up a fake story about an imminent attack, which Trump’s Secretary of Defense is now admitting was a lie. Esper’s job was to fix this mess for Trump. Instead he’s made it even worse for Trump, and ensured that this will become an uglier scandal for Trump in the coming week.

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