Esper Claims He Had ‘No Idea’ Force Would be Used to Clear DC Protesters

Department of Defense Secretary Mark Esper is offering his side of the story following President Donald Trump’s widely criticized photo-op.

On Tuesday night, Esper conducted a brief interview NBC News where he offered a different perspective of the series of events that unfolded during and after Trump’s address in the Rose Garden on Monday.

According to the publication, Esper and Mark Milley were heading to the FBI’s field office in Washington, D.C., to observe the protests with Attorney General William Barr and FBI Director Christopher Wray. However, while in route, they were diverted to the White House.

Esper noted that he received no advance notice of Trump’s plans to lead him and other senior administration officials to St. John’s Episcopal Church for the photo op. He also noted the two things he believed would be part of his personal agenda.

“I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” Esper said.

Amanda Voisard/Reuters

He revealed he was initially eager to speak with the National Guard to commend them for their service, saying, “I am very proud of the National Guard.”

Esper added, “I wanted to go out and thank these young men and women.”

After joining the president and other administration officials, Esper believed they were going to view the vandalized bathroom in Lafayette Square, which is in close proximity to the church.

“I didn’t know where I was going,” Esper said. “I wanted to see how much damage actually happened.”

An official has also said Esper and General Mark A. Milley were not aware officers reportedly use tear gas — which the U.S. Park Police has denied using — and rubber bullets to disperse protesters and clear the street for the president’s walk.

“They were not aware that Park Police and law enforcement made the decision to clear the square,” an official said.

Esper also echoed that sentiment during the interview, saying he had “no idea” about the plan to use force with the crowd. Following the interview, Esper also released an official statement addressing the incident

Protests have continued to erupt in various states over the past week as they are gearing up for more demonstrations on Wednesday.


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  2. If your boss says to you:

    “Hey, underling, let’s go for a stroll!” while surrounded by security guards and cameras while holding a bible, wouldn’t you be curious and ask what the hell is going on, ask where are we going, why would you want to do that while at the same time KNOWING how unhinged your boss is?

    Apparently not.

  3. The weird becomes typical, in the time of Trump. His Defense Secretary and Attorney General don’t know what’s up until they’re ordered to join a suddenly improvised Trump reality show moment. This guy Trump is a goose, and everybody who backs him up is a sucker.

  4. Obviously something happened outside DC that has been enough to make even Trump appointed officials extremely uncomfortable.

    Is ANYONE on the conservative side listening or is this guy part of the swamp too?

  5. “Esper also echoed that sentiment during the interview, saying he had “no idea” about the plan to use force with the crowd.” Article

    Now that you know what COULD happen in the future, what are you going to change?

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