Former Defense Secretary Says Trump Wanted to Shoot George Floyd Protesters

FILE - In this March 18, 2020, file photo, Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper speaks as Former President Donald Trump listens during press briefing with the coronavirus task force, at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File)

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claims in a coming memoir that President Trump wanted to shoot protesters who were demonstrating in the streets near the White House following the death of George Floyd.

“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?” Trump asked Esper, according to his book, “A Sacred Oath.”

That moment, Esper writes, “was surreal, 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 under way in Washington, D.C.”

“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.”

(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)


  1. If this report is true, then Trump was 100% right. These riots were an open insurrection against the USA, and Trump should have called out the army to suppress them, with orders to shoot rioters, not in the legs (which is not really possible outside movies or circuses) but to kill. By participating in these unjust riots they forfeited the right to live.

  2. Hence the need for division of powers. I am sure Trump didn’t mean it literally and he certainly knew that his words were just his opinion and not policy. OTOH, I was aghast at the passive response to the riots, rampage, robbery, and mayhem that was tolerated and even encouraged. Honestly, with what we know now of BLMs activities and goals, a stronger hand would have been better.

  3. The immoral lying adulterer is a complete imbecile with absolutely no knowledge of law and government.
    No, protests are not insurrections. Even if they become violent, they are crimes and should be dealt with by law enforcement as such.

  4. So why didn’t Trump want to shoot the Jan 6 insurrectionists? Because they supported him. This is further proof he has dictatorial tendencies. The Jan 6 folks were way more violent and caused much more havoc than the Floyd protestors at the white house. Why do you folks want a country where your government shoots at people they disagree with/don’t like? Isn’t that what most of our grandparents were trying to escape in Europe? Remember: setting a precedent against one group puts you at risk too for the future. That’s the beauty of and stability of America: support others’ rights to protest so that you’re views will be protected to in the future when your views happen to be disliked by whatever president is in office.

  5. The US Army SHOOTING PROTESTERS..!!! (rioters) here in the USA, in the 21st century!!!

    sure if Trumps wants it it must be ok, everything he does must be ok, anything and everything, no matter what. He freed Rubashkin… so its obvious he is right no matter what he does

  6. To “er”.

    You are confounding the difference between the White house and the Legislature. The White House is where Trump was personally in danger from rioters and also where Trump is personally the top authorized person to take action. The Legislature has nothing to do with Trump and – in fact – in some respects (like Capitol Police) it was Pelosi who was the top authorized person. And, in fact, then-Acting Defense Secretary Christopher Miller told a House of Representatives panel that as early as Jan 3 Trump ordered him to prepare the National Guard for Jan 6. But Trump’s orders were ignored. (And even if one claims that Trump ordered the national Guard for the purpose of protecting the protestors, it would de facto also mean the National Guard would have been there to protect the protestors by stopping them from entering the building).

  7. ER, the Jan 6 protest at the Capitol was NOT an insurrection. The BLM riots WERE. That is the major difference. And the Floyd riots were violent and deadly; the incident at the Capitol was nothing like that. The BLM rioters burned buildings, killed people, looted property, and did billions of dollars of damage. The Capitol protesters were mostly completely peaceful, guilty of nothing more than trespassing, if that, but even the small violent minority killed nobody, burned nothing, stole at most some souvenirs of negligible value. But the main difference is simply that it was not an insurrection at all. It was not an uprising against the USA, there was no intent to overthrow the USA or to establish “autonomous zones”, to occupy anything, etc. All they wanted was for Congress to do the right thing and stop the election being stolen.

  8. Trump never ordered or requested national guard’s presence prior to January 6. This is what Trump himself claimed at rallies, but the claim was been thoroughly debunked. So there goes the second half of what you wrote. Now for the first half: Trump, as President, is the top of the Executive Branch of the U.S. government. That is, he is the chief law enforcer. So yes, he has the duty to protect ALL Americans, even the legislature who was in the process of certifying the election. Note that Trump has always weighed in about protecting even civilians and arresting demonstrators. Once example is the BLM protests. So yes, he had a duty to protect the capitol from lawlessness. All he more so since these were his supporters and had tremendous influence over them.

  9. Millhouse, please see my 12:23PM post. The executive branch is ultimately responsible for enforcing laws and lawfulness at the capitol building, be it insurrection, trespassing, or interfering with governmental business. Even if the Jan 6 trespassers didn’t pose as much danger, and if suggesting to shoot people was not comparable in your mind to BLM at the capitol, Trump was responsible for trying to get them to stop breaking the law immediately, which he refused to do.
    Since all facts show the election wasn’t stolen even among Trump’s closest aides’ opinions, this was in fact an insurrection. Your description of BLM protests at the capitol on the other hand do not at all meet the legal definition of insurrection, or any definition for that matter. Moreover, Trump had no problem threatening/warning of violence against looting protesters for other protests across the country where federal property/employees were not threatened. Police powers are generally reserved to the states, not the feds. Hear that, states’ rights people?!? So he has no trouble with selective enforcement, particularly when it served his own political ends.
    It is disheartening when people echo debunked facts which are used as rallying cries. Either we are thinkers and aspire to be truth-seekers, or brainwashed pawns. I personally appreciate the former, and hope I am open to opinions that challenge. I challenge you to step away from the rhetoric to which you are captive. What WOULD change your mind on whether the election was stolen?