The former defense secretary revealed that Trump wanted the military to shoot protesters after the police murder of George Floyd and pondered missile strikes on drug labs in Mexico, saying he believed the former president was unfit for public office.
In light of all this, panelists condemned Esper for waiting for long to go public with this information.
"Mark Esper, secretary of the defense, who sits with the president of the United States, who proves by his utterances, as quoted in Mr. Esper's book, that he is unstable," said analyst Mike Barnicle. "What does Mark Esper do as secretary of defense? He goes back and shuts up about it until Random House or whatever the publisher was, he hands him a check. These people ought to be banned from coming on and promoting these books."
Co-host Willie Geist reminded Barnicle that Esper would be a guest on Tuesday, and they jokingly agreed the ban should begin the following day.
Analyst Richard Haas, meanwhile, questioned the former defense secretary's integrity.
"Look, as a former administration official, you know, I worked for four presidents, there's certain things you have to keep quiet," said Haas, the longtime president of the Council on Foreign Relations. "It's part of the deal when you go into administration, but when you see things beyond the pale, against the law and so forth, you want to push back privately. If it is going to go ahead, that's why people should resign. They should resign in principle and explain it. To simply sit on things that are clearly unacceptable, that presidents or officials ought not to do, Mike is right, it raises fundamental questions whether people met their obligations. They don't work for the president as the person, they work for us."
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