Donald Trump wanted Black Lives Matter protesters 'shot in legs', book claims
Mark Esper, Mr Trump's former Secretary of Defence, says the US President raged in the Oval Office as the BLM movement took to Washington in 2020
Donald Trump wanted Black Lives Matter (BLM) protesters shot in the legs during a protest outside the White House, his former Secretary of Defence says.
Mark Esper, Mr Trump's former Secretary of Defence, says Trump raged in the Oval Office as the BLM movement took to Washington in 2020.
Mr Trump is reported to have said: "Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?"
The former Secretary of Defence has now described his experience in his new book.
He said 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".
The Axios website published a preview from the book A Sacred Oath.
Mr Esper appears to confirm that Mr Trump floated the idea of getting the military to intervene in the protests.
In another book, released by journalist Michael Bender last year, Mr Trump is reported to have urged his officials to "be hard" on the protesters outside the Oval Office.
He alleges the US President at the time instructed: "Shoot them in the leg – or maybe the foot. But be hard on them."
Flashbangs and tear gas were used by US Park Police and National Guard troops in an attempt to quell the unrest.
Mr Esper made clear his disapproval of deploying troops in the US, saying he opposed the Insurrection Act being invoked.
His stance reportedly irked anger from Trump, and he was sacked in November 2020.
Mr Esper's book will be released on May 10, and has been reviewed by a series of generals, as well as vetted by the Pentagon.
Black Lives Matter demonstrators were seen outside the Oval Office with thousands of protesters following George Floyd's death.
Police and riot police clashed in Lafayette Square during an intense bout of civil unrest.