Former President Donald Trump suggested launching missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs” ahead of the 2020 election, former Defense Secretary Mark Esper writes in his forthcoming book. The New York Times reported the revelation on Thursday afternoon.
Esper writes in his new memoir a A Sacred Oath that Trump suggested to him at least twice during the summer of 2020 that the United States could “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs,” and that it could be done secretly. Trump even said the operation could be conducted “quietly” and that the U.S. could simply deny it had anything to do with it. “No one would know it was us,” Trump said, according to Esper.
Esper’s book describes an administration that was obsessed with Trump’s reelection campaign throughout 2020, according to the Times. The defense secretary, who was jettisoned for butting heads with the former president over using the military to quell Black Lives Matter protests, reportedly writes that he was also concerned Trump would use the military around Election Day, potentially to seize ballot boxes.
A Sacred Oath isn’t the first time Esper has talked about the Trump’s plans to take on the drug cartels. He told the Times last year that Trump had to be talked out of invading Mexico in a harebrained scheme to cut off the flow of drugs at the source. Trump has also suggested shooting migrants trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. Axios reported earlier this week that Esper writes in his book that Trump suggested Black Lives Matter protesters demonstrating outside of the White House in the summer of 2020 should also be shot.
“Can’t you just shoot them?” Trump asked, according to Esper. “Just shoot them in the legs or something?”