In case you forgot how terrible of a boss former President Donald Trump was during his time in office, here’s an anecdote to remind you.
According to a new book (via Business Insider) from Washington Post reporters Bob Woodward and Robert Costa, Trump constantly unleashed on his top advisors but, one of the worst profanity-laced blow-ups was directed at former Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who told Trump he couldn’t use the military to quell protests over George Floyd’s death last summer. Trump reportedly wanted to invoke the Insurrection Act of 1807 to deploy troops to squash any Black Lives Matter protests happening during that time. In particular, he wanted to use the 82nd Airborne division — a special crisis response unit that often parachutes into hostile areas and does not normally engage with civil disturbances.
Obviously, letting loose some elite paramilitary guys on peaceful protesters would have been a terrible decision, so Esper shut it down before it could even become a consideration. During a press conference that took place just a day before this alleged blow-up, Esper told reporters he didn’t support the Insurrection Act saying that the military “should only be used as a matter of last resort, and in the most urgent and dire of situations.” He then reportedly got a call from White House chief of staff Mark Meadows warning him that Trump was “really pissed” and was “going to eat your face off.”
The next day, when Esper met with Trump in the Oval Office, the twice-impeached president lost it, screaming at Esper, “you took away my authority!” Esper then produced a transcript of his remarks to the press to prove he wasn’t trying to undermine the president which only served to enrage Trump more.
“I don’t give a f*ck about your fucking transcript!” Trump shouted, before addressing the rest of his team. “You’re all f*cked up! Everybody! You’re all f*cked. Every one of you is f*cked up!”
Apparently, Esper wasn’t the only official displeased with Trump’s response to the social unrest. Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was also angry over how Trump had used both men for a photo opp in front of St. John’s church in D.C. The former president was dragged through the press for using federal agents to clear the plaza of protesters with tear gas and violent force. According to the book, Milley called the whole thing “f*cked up,” and told his aides he was “done with this sh*t.”
Talk about a toxic work environment.
(Via Business Insider)