In his column for the Washington Post, conservative military expert Max Boot pointed to a memo submitted to Donald Trump making the case to fire Defense Secretary Mike Esper as evidence that the former president wanted to find someone else who would assist him in staying in power.
Boot started off by apologizing to Esper for not pushing back when the former president stuck his nose in military affairs that rankled the Pentagon.
With that in mind, he noted the memo listed 14 reasons for firing Esper, which ultimately happened three weeks later via Trump tweet. The memo, which was written by Trump's director of presidential personnel Johnny McEntee, was revealed by ABC's Jonathan Karl.
According to Boot, "The very premise of McEntee's memo was both sinister and ludicrous — a 30-year-old of no professional or intellectual distinction, whose path to power was carrying Trump's bags, was making the case for getting rid of a senior Cabinet officer for insufficient loyalty to the president."
According to the columnist, Trump was looking for a way to use the military for his own benefit.
Writing, "This revealing and chilling document deserves to be read not as a historical curiosity but as a terrible portent of what could be in store if Trump wins another term. He appears determined to turn the military into his personal goon squad," he then warned, "Trump tried to destroy the professional, apolitical ethos of the armed forces — and if given the opportunity, he will almost certainly do so again."
"The next time around, Trump would want to ensure that the 'guys with guns' are on his side," he cautioned. "If he wins a second term, Trump's next defense secretary (Johnny McEntee perhaps?) would almost certainly be somebody more devoted to him than to the Constitution. For anyone concerned about the future of U.S. democracy, that should be a cause of considerable alarm at a time when Trump and Biden are running almost neck and neck in polling matchups."
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