Esper says Americans deserve to be ‘disturbed’ by Trump administration as he sues Pentagon over book purchases

“My view is that the American people deserve a full and undisputed history of the last presidency, the Trump administration,” Esper told CNN’s Jake Tapper on “The Lead” during the interview. First interview since suing the Ministry of Defense. “And what I wanted to do was provide important insights and anecdotes and color in what is arguably one of the most tumultuous second halves of an administration in history.”

Esper’s lawsuit against the Department of Defense came after the agency told him he needed to pull out portions of the book about his time working under Trump. The dispute arose during the pre-publishing review of his manuscript, a typical process government officials go through to get approval to write about their services, to keep the home confidential. water and other protected information is not made public.

Starting in October, a Defense Department employee told Esper he needed to make transactions for his book, according to his lawsuit filed Sunday. But Esper said the transactions requested included quotes from Trump and others, conversations he had had with Trump and his views regarding foreign countries.

A HarperCollins publisher set a May 2022 publication date for the book, titled “A Sacred Oath,” the lawsuit said.

Esper broke up with Trump several times as Secretary of Defense, including with the then President’s plans to withdraw all US troops from Afghanistan, but the rift deepened in the summer of 2020 when Esper said he did not support the use of active-duty troops to quell the large-scale protests across the United States over the police killing of George Floyd.

Trump at last shot Esper with tweet in early November 2020, days after losing the presidential election.

The former Defense Secretary on Monday called the transactions “arbitrary and unfair”, telling Tapper that he “submitted what (he) believed at the time and still believes is an unedited manuscript”. classify.”

“So I don’t know what the reason is, but again it’s arbitrary. It’s capricious. And it just does injustice to that important part of American history that people need to know and understand deeply.” , he said. “So that’s why I’m committed to getting to the bottom of this and making sure we publish the full manuscript so the American people know the full story of what happened – both. good and bad – in the last days. of many years of the Trump administration.”

This story was updated with additional information on Monday.


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