Mark Esper: 'We were all dumbstruck' when Trump wanted to send in the military to crush DC protesters
U.S. Secretary of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper speaks to the press during a press conference at the Pentagon Briefing Room in Washington, D.C., Jan. 7, 2020. (DoD photo by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Nicole Mejia)

On Monday's edition of CNN's "Anderson Cooper 360," former President Donald Trump's Defense Secretary, Mark Esper, discussed his horror over how his former boss handled Black Lives Matter protests in Washington, D.C.

"When you were sitting across the from the president and he is suggesting something like shoot the Black Lives Matter protestors in the legs, what do do — what does your face look like?" asked Cooper.

"I was just dumbstruck by it," said Esper. "And he was speaking to General Mark Milley when he asked that, can't you just shoot 'em in the legs or something? I was shocked by it. To hear this from the president of the United States, saying shoot our fellow Americans in the streets of the nation's capital."

"And not only talking police, he is talking U.S. military," added Cooper. "Deploying the U.S. military. Ten — he wanted 10,000 U.S. military forces outside the White House because of protestors."

"That's right," said Esper. "Look. There was violence. I believe in law and order. There was violence. People were getting hurt. People who were protesting peacefully were not being allowed to do so. But the answer is not a heavy hand, and certainly not lethal force. And so, I think we were all dumbstruck. I think between Bill Barr and myself and with General Milley's support, we started putting ideas out there that law enforcement should lead this and the military should back up only as necessary and even then, it should only be the National Guard and upon kind of walking him back off of this notion of sending in active-duty military."

Esper's upcoming memoir has shocked experts, as he tears into Trump's handling of the presidency and recounts radical ideas from Trump including firing missiles into Mexico. Trump claims that several of Esper's allegations, including that he wanted protesters shot in the legs, are not true.

Watch below or at this link.

Mark Esper says he was "dumbfounded" by Trump's desire to sic military on protesters