Writing in the Washington Post this Wednesday, columnist Jennifer Rubin writes that the “tear-gassing of peaceful protesters, the debasement of St. John’s Episcopal Church, the wholly inappropriate participation of the defense secretary and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the goose step across Lafayette Square” were actually President Trump’s way of compensating for reports that he retreated to an underground bunker when protesters got close to the White House.
Rubin points to Trump’s claim that he went to the bunker for an “inspection.” But according to Defense Secretary Mark Esper, he had no idea where Trump and the rest of his entourage were going.
“Esper is apparently so embarrassed by the incident that he is directly contradicting his boss,” Rubin writes. “At a news conference on Wednesday he insisted, ‘I do not support invoking the Insurrection Act. The option to use active-duty forces in a law enforcement role should only be used as a matter of last resort and only in the most urgent and dire of situations. We are not in one of those situations now.’ He also promises to investigate the low-flying helicopter that appeared to try to intimidate protesters Monday night. Since Esper has now debased himself both by participating in the stunt and coming up with a pathetic excuse to explain his lack of judgment, it might be time for him to resign.”
In the wake of the debacle, Trump’s advisers are “clearly running for cover.”
“No amount of excuses is going to spare Trump and his lackeys the humiliation and condemnation they so richly deserve.”
Read her full. op-ed at The Washington Post.