Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper claimed in his upcoming memoir that President Donald Trump reportedly wanted to launch missiles into Mexico to blow up drug labs, according to excerpts obtained by The New York Times.
According to Esper’s memoir, A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times, Trump asked multiple times in 2020 to “quietly” shoot Patriot missiles into Mexico and then deny responsibility, The Times reported.
The Patriot Missile is a surface-to-air missile system designed to counter and destroy incoming short-range ballistic missiles, advanced aircraft and cruise missiles.
“When Mr. Esper raised various objections, Mr. Trump said that ‘we could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly,’ adding that ‘no one would know it was us,'” The New York Times reported. “Mr. Trump said he would just say that the United States had not conducted the strike, Mr. Esper recounts, writing that he would have thought it was a joke had he not been staring Mr. Trump in the face.”
Trump spent his time in office building a wall along the US Southern border, which successfully helped limit illegal immigration and drug trafficking.
In 2019, President Trump wanted to classify Mexico’s drug cartels as a terrorist group, but at the request of Mexican President Lopez Obrador, he forewent the request.
According to the DEA, Mexican cartels “control most of the US drug market and have established varied transportation routes, have advanced communications capabilities, and hold strong affiliations with criminal groups and gangs in the United States.”
The cartels also hold “strong affiliations with criminal groups and gangs in the United States,” the DEA notes.
Their main exports into the United States include “significant wholesale quantities of fentanyl, heroin, methamphetamine, cocaine, and marijuana,” according to the DEA.
Trump fired Esper in a tweet in 2020, two days after the Presidential election, which failed to come as a surprise considering Esper’s heavy criticism of the former President. He was replaced with Christopher Miller, the former Director of the National Counterterrorism Center.
“I am pleased to announce that Christopher C. Miller, the highly respected Director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be Acting Secretary of Defense, effective immediately,” Trump tweeted.
Adding, “Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.”