Trump Defense Secretary Embarrassed During Live News Segment


President Donald Trump and his allies are continuing to have to come up with some kind of defense in the impeachment case that House investigators are building, and they’re continuing to fail. This weekend on Fox News Sunday, host Chris Wallace pressed Defense Secretary Mark Esper about impeachment inquiry-related issues, and a bulk of what Esper had in response was deflection. If he had nothing to hide, then why wouldn’t he just come out and say so? It’s more of the familiar guilt-suggesting behavior from the Trump team.

Wallace focused on the part of the impeachment inquiry-driving scandal including Trump’s abrupt pause on military aid for Ukraine. The president implemented that suspension while he and his closest associates, like Rudy Giuliani, demanded that Ukraine investigate baseless and debunked conspiracy theories about the Bidens and Democrats in general in preparation for a potential showdown with the former vice president in the 2020 general election. In other words, Trump was after foreign election help again.

At times, some Trump defenders have claimed that he suspended the aid over legitimate concerns about Ukraine — although the only issues that he ever raised centered on his domestic political rivals.

Wallace asked:

‘Did President Trump ever explain to you, tell you, why he was holding up U.S. military aid to Ukraine — an ally that was and is in a current war with Russia?’

In response, Esper rambled:

‘Well look, I’m not going to get into that. There’s obviously an inquiry underway on Capitol Hill. I came into this story, if you will, in late July… I will tell you this much — when I came onto the scene, the three things we were looking at are this: one, was the aid necessary and vital to the Ukrainians in terms of defending themselves against Russia? Number two: had the Ukrainians addressed corruption — and that was a Congressional concern — and number three: were other countries in the region… assisting them? And given those three things, we decided to support the provision of the aid.’

Again — Esper’s deflection suggests that he has something to hide. It’s a pretty well established fact at this point that the only supposed corruption that Trump ever actually concerned himself with involved the Democrats. Why is Esper clamming up when asked about these straightforward issues?

It’s not just him — the Department of Defense has also refused to hand over documents that Congress has demanded that are related to the aid suspension. When Wallace asked him if he was “comfortable with that as Secretary of Defense,” Esper deflected again. He shared:

‘Well, what my general counsel came forward with is that there were legal and technical issues related to the request that we simply couldn’t have honored. So that was the reason behind that.’

Wallace continued:

‘But do you feel Congress has a right to oversight and being able to see documents from the Pentagon that was approved by Congress?’

Esper retorted:

‘Well, they do, but provided it’s done the right and proper way, and I think that was the issue. Again, I think my reputation is pretty good in terms of being pretty transparent. I like to communicate with members of Congress — but in this case, my recollection is that there were technical and legal issues that prohibited us from doing exactly what was requested by the Congress.’


At this rate, the Trump team is planning to rely on deflection all of the way through a Senate impeachment trial that’s likely soon coming up.