Donald Trump ‘wanted to shoot missiles into Mexico to stop drug cartels’, book claims

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Former US President Donald Trump (PA Wire)
Former US President Donald Trump (PA Wire)

Donald Trump suggested firing missiles into Mexico to destroy drug labs, his former Pentagon chief has claimed.

The claim was among a series made by Mark Esper about Mr Trump’s alleged attempts to potentially misuse the military, and is detailed in an upcoming memoir.

According to the New York Times, Mr Esper also criticises Mr Trump’s senior staff, one of whom allegedly suggested putting pigs blood on a head of the then Islamic State leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as a message to other terrorists.

Mr Esper said he had to shut down the idea and explain that it would be a war crime.

The former defence secretary describes Mr Trump’s behaviour as erratic after he was acquitted in his impeachment trial, and said he was worried the former President could even have soldiers seize ballot boxes in a bid to stay in power.

The book claims Mr Trump asked him if the military could “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs”.

When he objected, Mr Trump reportedly told him: “We could just shoot some Patriot missiles and take out the labs, quietly,” adding “No-one would know it was us”.

“He is an unprincipled person who, given his self-interest, should not be in the position of public service,” the book states of Mr Trump, according to a copy seen by the New York Times.

Mr Esper was fired by the former President shortly after his defeat in the 2020 election.

He said he considered resigning a number of times, but chose to remain over fear his replacement could be a “yes man” who could enable Trump’s worst ideas.

The former senior official also criticised some of Mr Trump’s advisers, one of whom reportedly lobbied for the US military to send 250,000 troops to the Mexican border to stop a caravan of migrants.

An extract of Mr Esper’s book previously revealed claims that Mr Trump proposed shooting Black Lives Matter protesters in the legs.

As protesters massed on the streets of the capital following the killing of George Floyd, Mr Trump was alleged to have asked: “Can’t you just shoot them? Just shoot them in the legs or something?”

Mr Esper wrote the moment “was surreal, sitting in front of the Resolute desk, inside the Oval Office, with this idea weighing heavily in the air, and the president red faced and complaining loudly about the protests under way in Washington, DC.”

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