Secretary of Defense Mark Esper is on shaky ground with president Trump after saying Wednesday that he (Esper) 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.
Speaking from the Pentagon briefing room podium, Esper noted: “we are not in one of those situations now.” He should have said: “in my opinion” as he distanced himself from President Donald Trump’s recent threat to deploy the military to enforce order.
Trump has privately expressed frustrations with Esper in recent weeks, which aides believe would likely be accelerated by his comments about the ongoing nationwide protests. President Trump vented about Esper at length during a recent weekend at Camp David, according to multiple sources.
Those complaints have raised questions about Esper’s future at the Pentagon should Trump win a second term, but his comments from the Pentagon briefing room Wednesday have prompted speculation that the timing of his departure could be moved up, the source said.
“I think this is the end for him,” they added, as well it should be. The president needs to have people who report to him which is a great honor and who are on the same page with him. That’s basis Management 101.