Mark Esper (SecDef for those versed in milspeak or govspeak) is in trouble with Bunker Boy (no other identification needed).
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper said Wednesday that he does not support the use of active-duty military forces in quelling countrywide unrest — a statement that puts him at odds with President Trump, who has threatened to send troops into U.S. cities.
This comes after Esper tried to deny knowing the streets were being cleared for a photo-op:
and at one point said he thought they were going to look at a toilet:
then had to admit he did know all along:
None of this makes Trump look good. But now Esper is in real deep shit with the Great Orange Shitgibbon:
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper said Wednesday that he does not support using active duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States triggered by the death of George Floyd and those forces should only be used in a law enforcement role as a last resort, comments that came after President Donald Trump recently threatened to deploy the military to enforce order.Esper's attempt to distance himself from Trump's view on using the military to restore order went over poorly at the White House, where he was already viewed to be on shaky ground, multiple people familiar with the matter said.
Multiple sources close to the president tell Axios' Jonathan Swan they were perplexed by the NBC interview and wondered what Esper was trying to achieve. The combination of that interview plus Wednesday's press conference — in which he undercut the president — has the Secretary of Defense in precarious standing with the White House.
President Donald Trump and other top aides were upset that Defense Secretary Mark Esper publicly opposed the deployment of active duty forces to confront protesters in U.S.
Esper is meeting with the president Wednesday to discuss the situation in Afghanistan, according to a White House official. The meeting was not on the White House public schedule.
Jennifer Rubin writes about the prevailing wind in Esper’s face:
Esper is apparently so embarrassed by the incident that he is directly contradicting his boss. At a news conference on Wednesday he insisted, “I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act. The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.” He also promises to investigate the low-flying helicopter that appeared to try to intimidate protesters Monday night. Since Esper has now debased himself both by participating in the stunt and coming up with a pathetic excuse to explain his lack of judgment, it might be time for him to resign.
Since there are reports (on Rachel, no link) that Trump may personally have ordered that helicopter flyover, any hint of an investigation that might point to Bunker Boy (I’m starting to like that moniker!) is not going to sit well.
Esper just might survive today’s meeting (though Trump might order to go to Afghanistan and stay there for a while), but I would not give long odds of his being SecDef too much longer.
I’ve been Dan K for a long time here, but I went away while I was in the Peace Corps (Kenya) and then while I was working as a Foreign Service Officer. But that’s all behind me now.