As everything continues to go wrong for Donald Trump, one of his biggest potential liabilities right now is that his new Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wasn’t his first choice for the job, doesn’t appear to be a loyalist, and may not be willing to lie on Trump’s behalf. Sure enough, the whole Esper thing went terribly wrong for Trump this morning – including the guy’s name.
Mark Esper announced last night that the U.S. troops being pulled from Syria had been dispatched to Western Iraq. This doesn’t fit with Trump’s claim that he pulled the troops from Syria because he wanted to bring them home. So this morning Trump posted this tweet in an attempt at controlling the narrative:
Mark Esperanto, Secretary of Defense, “The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with the Kurds.” USA soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zones. We have secured the oil. Bringing soldiers home!
There are obviously a number of things wrong with this tweet. The guy’s name is Mark Esper, not “Mark Esperanto.” Perhaps Trump thought that making up a fake version of his Secretary of Defense would make it easier to sell his lie about what Esper actually said. The thing is, when Trump deleted the “Mark Esperanto” tweet and tried again, he changed the quote around entirely:
“The ceasefire is holding up very nicely. There are some minor skirmishes that have ended quickly. New areas being resettled with Kurds. U.S. soldiers are not in combat or ceasefire zone. We have secured the Oil.” Mark Esper, Secretary of Defense. Ending endless wars!
You can see the problem here. Donald Trump didn’t just correct Mark Epser’s name. Trump took two sentences that he had presented as being his own words in his earlier tweet, and he’s now moved them inside the quotation marks, meaning he’s now attributing them to Mark Esper. Or maybe he’s attributing them to Mark Esperanto.
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report