In his newly released book entitled “A Sacred Oath: Memoirs of a Secretary of Defense During Extraordinary Times,” Mark Esper details events and instances he alleges to have happened behind the scenes during his time working under the Trump administration.
Esper also described “leaks” being a large point of issue for the administration, and boldly asserted that former U.S. President Donald Trump was the “biggest leaker of all.”
“The individual motivations for the leaks ranged from advancing a preferred policy outcome to enhancing the leaker’s own role or credentials to currying favor with the president. It was a noxious behavior learned from the top. The president was the biggest leaker of all. It turned colleague against colleague, department against department, and it was generally bad for the administration and the country,” Esper wrote.
He explained that the constant leaks resulted in “damaged trust” amongst the administration and its workers and caused people to fall back into the shadows, making them “far more reluctant to speak up and share their views.”
“Nobody wanted to see their name in the morning news,” he wrote, “especially when the words were so often twisted, misinterpreted, and taken out of context.”
“In the Trump administration, this could get you blacklisted or fired,” he tacked on.
In his memoir, Esper also defended a choice he made in the summer of 2020 when he was the catalyst for an investigation being launched into the leaks plaguing the Department of Defense. He also elaborated on the investigation itself, saying it was “accompanied by a sustained effort to remind our uniformed and civilian employees of their obligations to protect classified information and to educate them on why and how best to do so.”
“None of this was about muzzling whistleblowers or clamping down on the activities of a free media, as a few alleged,” Esper clarified. “It was all about curtailing the unauthorized release of classified information that harmed our nation’s security or put our troops at risk, while also weakening the trust and confidence our foreign partners had in us.”
Esper, however, is not the first individual to come forward with claims of the former president being the cause of numerous leaks. Chris Christie, former Governor of New Jersey, wrote in a memoir published just last year that Trump admitted to him that he personally leaked to Axios that he was offering Christie a job as White House Chief of Staff in the latter half of 2018.
“I did it myself,” Trump allegedly told Christie when he was asked if he knew who had leaked the information to the media. “It was a great story, right?”
“It was good for you and good for me,” Trump went on. “It was good.”
Christie decided to turn the position down in the end and released a statement stating that he had chosen to withdraw himself from consideration on his own in order to avoid shaming or embarrassing Trump by doing so on a public stage.