As protesters gathered outside the White House in June of 2020 as part of a national trend surrounding the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis, then-President Donald Trump asked his Secretary of Defense, Mark Esper, if U.S. troops could be instructed to shoot Black Lives Matter demonstrators, according to a new book from Esper, A Sacred Oath.

Mike Allen of Axios reports that the book, which will be released on May 10, is a chilling account of just how badly Trump wanted to inflict violence on anyone who would dare to protest outside the White House:

That moment in the first week of June, 2020, “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, D.C.,” Esper writes.

The good news— this wasn’t a difficult decision,” Esper continues. “The bad news — I had to figure out a way to walk Trump back without creating the mess I was trying to avoid.”

Allen also notes that Esper’s book was vetted by the Pentagon and reviewed by “nearly three dozen 4-star generals, senior civilians, and some Cabinet members.”

Esper fell out of favor with Trump when he refused to endorse a plan by Trump to invoke the Insurrection Act, which would have allowed the president to use active-duty members of the U.S. military to attack racial justice protesters, especially the ones who were demonstrating in the nation’s capital.

This isn’t the first book that pulls the curtain back on Trump’s violent plans to shoot and kill protesters. Just last year, Michel Bender’s Frankly, We Did Win This Election revealed that Trump called for law enforcement to shoot anyone who was a part of the protests, often demanding that more be done to shut down peaceful demonstrations which the former president had seen taking place across the U.S.

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