According to his Secretary of Defense, former President Donald Trump furiously demanded to know why he couldn’t simply order the U.S. military to shoot Black Lives Matter protestors as they filled streets around the White House in June 2020, as they marched following the murder of George Floyd.

Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper reveals as much in his soon-to-be-released memoir,”A Sacred Oath,” according to Axios.

Via Twitter / @Axios

In the memoir, Esper confirms previous reporting that in several meetings during the tumultuous summer, then-President Trump suggested he could invoke the Insurrection Act to use troops to quell violence on the street,  a move Esper claims he opposed.

Esper describes one such meeting in early June, 2020, saying it 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.”

“Donald Trump” by Gage Skidmore is licensed with CC BY-SA 2.0. To view a copy of this license, visit

Trump then asked:

“Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?”

Esper continues:

“The good news — this wasn’t a difficult decision. The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”

Axios says that the book went through a very thorough Pentagon clearance process that included reviews by “nearly three dozen 4-star generals, senior civilians, and some Cabinet members.”

“President Trump’s First 100 Days: 6” by The White House is marked under CC PDM 1.0. To view the terms, visit

Then Wall Street Journal and now New York Times reporter Michael Bender wrote many of the same things about Trump’s proposed actions last year in his own book, “Frankly, We Did Win This Election,” in which he said that the former President heatedly called multiple times for law enforcement officials to shoot BLM protesters.


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Christopher Powell