Donald Trump Jr. suggests that his father’s reported idea of launching missiles at Mexican drug labs wasn’t such a bad idea.
Trump Jr. made the remarks on Twitter on Friday following claims by former Defense Secretary Mark Esper that Trump brought up the firing of Patriot missiles in Mexico. Esper is the latest Trump administration official to make headlines for allegations about the former president’s behavior. Trump Jr.’s tweet shows that he continues to be one of his father’s fiercest defenders.
“I’m still trying to understand the recent media outrage over my dad possibly wanting to target the manufacturing facilities of a Mexican drug cartel in Mexico…Is that supposed to be a bad thing??? ” Trump Jr. wrote in a tweet.
In a forthcoming memoir, A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense in Extraordinary Times, Esper wrote that Trump had twice asked him to launch missiles into Mexico to “destroy the drug labs.” Esper wrote in his book that Trump floated the idea in the summer of 2020, saying “we could just shoot Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly.” Trump added that “no one would know it was us,” according to the book.
In a 60 minutes interview, Esper recalled private discussions in which Trump allegedly pushed for the idea.
“I would say, ‘Mr. President, you know, I get the motive’ — because he was very serious about the drug trade in America. I get it, we all get it,” Esper said in the interview. “But I explained to him, we can’t do that. It would violate international law. It would be terrible for our neighbors to the south. It would, you know, impact us in many ways.”
Trump Jr., in a later tweet, referred to how US forces killed civilians in Afghanistan with a missile strike during President Joe Biden’s troop withdrawal from the country. The strike was announced by The New York Times. Trump Jr. has questioned why the Biden administration’s “media backers” have remained silent, but complain about his father’s announced plan to use missiles against drug cartels.
After the 2020 election, Esper was fired in a tweet after the 2020 election. Afterwards, he began working on the memoir and sued the Department of Defense for access to the documents.
Hope said 60 minutes that he was reluctant to tell his story about Trump wanting to fire missiles at Mexico because people in the former president’s orbit would reject it and others would think it was made up.
Esper also recalled how he changed his mind while having dinner with another cabinet member after the 2020 election. He said the cabinet member remembered how Trump made the suggestion. The cabinet member also remarked that he was impressed with how Esper talked Trump out of considering the idea.
“And in that moment I knew I had to write the story, because I have at least one witness who will verify that this really happened,” Esper said.
Newsweek contacted Trump for comment.