After Donald Trump’s church photo op turned into yet another ugly scandal, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper made the ridiculous claim last night that he didn’t even know they were going to the church, and that Trump had told him they were going to a bathroom instead. It was clear that Esper was trying to distance himself from the debacle, but all it evoked was eye rolling and laughter.
Now Esper is taking another swing at it today. But instead of falling back into line with Trump, he’s making an effort to distance himself even more thoroughly from the entire debacle. Esper did basically admit during his press conference today that he knew he was going to the church. But now he’s adamantly disagreeing with Trump’s threat to send military personnel to deal with the protesters around the nation.
Trump was never going to be able to act on this threat anyway, at least not outside of Washington DC, because not a single governor has given approval for troops to be sent. Yet Esper clearly feels compelled to publicly state, in his role as Secretary of Defense, that he stands opposed to having his troops used in that manner.
It sounds like Mark Esper is either laying the groundwork for resigning in protest, or he’s trying to get Donald Trump to fire him so he doesn’t have to be involved in this treachery anymore. Esper is a mere lobbyist who has always been in over his head as Secretary of Defense. Now there’s a question of how much longer he’ll be Secretary of Defense.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report