Former United States Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has written a memoir about his time at the White House, including time spent alongside former president Donald Trump. Excerpts released on Friday show that Trump has proposed eliminating a senior Iranian officer operating outside of the country.
"It was a really bad idea with big implications," wrote Esper. According to the book, the idea came up before the 2020 elections.
In the book, the former US Secretary wrote that in a conversation with the then US Chief of Staff, he had learned that the former National Security Advisor told him about Trump's plans.
"We had been aware of this [Iranian officer] and the trouble he was causing in the area for some time. But why now? What was urgent? Was there a near threat? What about convening the National Security Team to discuss it? I didn't believe it," he writes.
He said, "I've seen this movie before, where White House aides meet with the president, 'refuel' him and then present one of their 'great ideas.' How come people in the White House weren't seeing this? In addition, he came up with an idea - to dip the decapitated head of a terrorist leader in pig blood - as a warning to other Islamist militants."
In another part of the book, Esper writes that the then US president came up with an idea to launch missiles at Mexico to "destroy the drug labs and cartels," the New York Times reported.
The former president reasoned that Mexico had no "control" over its country and that "no one would know it was us." Esper - who rejected the idea at the time - said, according to the NYT.
Esper recalls that he served as the US Secretary of Defense under Trump, and on November 9, 2020, the former president announced the end of his term.
His dismissal seemed inevitable since disagreements arose between him and former president Trump when the latter called for the deployment of military forces on the streets of Washington, D.C. in light of George Floyd protests.
Asper publicly opposed Trump's threat to pass the Insurrection Act of 1807, which would allow the president to use active military forces to enforce the law.
Trump was furious when Esper told reporters that the Insurrection Act should be invoked "only in the most urgent and terrible situations" and when he argued that there is no situation like that in the United States. Asper claimed that Trump offered to shoot protestors during the George Floyd protests that took place near the White House.
Trump's team declined to comment. Asper told the NYT: "I felt I was writing for history and for the American people," calling the former president "a man without principles who should not be in the role of a public service."