Ex-U.S. Defense Chief's Book Claims Trump Is A Violent Sociopath
Bess Levin, a longtime politics correspondent of Vanity Fair, says the upcoming memoir of former defense secretary Mark Esper provides ample proof that defeated former US President Donald Trump is not only a malignant narcissist but is also a violent sociopath.
Photo Insert: The swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
“Something you’ve probably gleaned over the last six-plus years is that Donald Trump is a big fan of turning to violence when things don’t go his way. Obviously, there was the January 6 insurrection to overturn the 2020 election, but before that, the ex-president also urged police officers to knock suspects’ heads against the sides of their squad cars; endorsed assaulting reporters; openly fantasized about ‘Second Amendment people’ preventing the appointment of liberal judges; and told supporters, of a man who’d been ejected from one of his events, ‘I’d like to punch him in the face,’” Levin wrote.
In an Axios report, Esper writes in his memoir, “A Sacred Oath,” that as demonstrators gathered around the White House in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Trump asked, “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?”
It was a “surreal [moment], 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.,” according to Esper.
However, as he was dealing with the mind of a child, he had to come up with a way to explain that the US government doesn’t just shoot protesters. ”The good news—this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Esper writes. ”The bad news—I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”
Esper’s first-person account confirms the reporting of journalist Michael Bender, whose book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost,” also detailed Trump’s desire to use violence and shoot demonstrators in June 2020.
According to Bender, Trump insisted, “That’s how you’re supposed to handle these people. Crack their skulls!” He also reportedly said he wanted the military to go in and “beat the f--k out” of the protesters, saying “just shoot them” multiple times.
Bender also reported that Joint Chiefs Chairman General Mark Milley, concerned about Trump’s threat to invoke the Insurrection Act over the protests, pointed to a portrait of Abraham Lincoln and said, “That guy had an insurrection. What we have, Mr. President, is a protest," which, according to Trump, is reason enough to start shooting people.