Esper dubs Trump a ‘threat to democracy’ on Capitol riot anniversary

Esper dubs Trump a ‘threat to democracy’ on Capitol riot anniversary

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Mark Esper, the former U.S. Secretary of Defense, said former President Trump is a “threat to democracy” on the third anniversary of the Capitol riot.

“And yes, I do regard him as a threat to democracy, democracy as we know it, our institutions, our political culture, all those things that make America great and have defined us as, you know, the oldest democracy on this planet,” Esper told CNN’s Jim Acosta on Saturday.

Esper, who served as the secretary of the Army and later as defense secretary under the Trump administration, said Jan. 6 is a “tragic day in our nation’s history.”

Esper had concerns that Trump may use the military to remain in power after the 2020 presidential election and said that he thinks it’s a possibility that if Trump were reelected, he could use the military against potential protestors at a 2025 inauguration.

The former defense secretary said he could see state governors, particularly those who are fans of Trump, lending him their national guards in that case. He added that if that weren’t to happen, Trump could invoke the Insurrection Act, which authorizes the president to deploy military forces to suppress protests or domestic violence.

Trump aides reportedly drafted an order that would have allowed the former president to invoke the act amid the Black Lives Matter demonstrations and civil unrest that followed after police killed George Floyd in 2020.

Esper was fired by Trump in November 2020, shortly after the election, following months of a rocky relationship since the nationwide protests in the summer.  

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