Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper, who served under former President Trump, recalled a “ridiculous” plan made during the Trump administration to send a quarter of a million troops to the southern border of the United States in a “60 Minutes” interview. ” to be released on Sunday.
Esper said the measure had been suggested by then White House senior adviser Stephen Miller.
“He’s behind me, and this voice is talking about caravans coming and we need to get troops to the border, and we need a quarter of a million troops,” Esper said of Miller, saying they were in the Oval Office waiting for a meeting with Trump at the time. “And I think he’s kidding, and I turn around and look at him and these deadpan eyes, he’s clearly not kidding.”
Esper said he “turned directly to him, looked at him and said, ‘I don’t have a quarter of a million troops to send on some ridiculous mission to the border.'”
Esper recalled speaking with Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, asking him to “check and make sure there’s no work being done anywhere in the building.”
“It’s so absurd that I can’t even consider it,” Esper continued after saying that people in his department were working on the plan to send a quarter of a million troops to the border.
“Again, we don’t have 250,000 troops to send to the border, and for what?” Wait continued. “It’s just ridiculous.”