Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper slammed President Donald Trump as a “national security threat” and issued a dire warning about his mishandling of classified information.
In an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Esper condemned Trump’s unauthorized and dangerous retention of documents, saying: “People have described him as a hoarder when it comes to these type of documents. But clearly, it was unauthorized, illegal and dangerous.”
Esper, who served in Trump’s Cabinet from 2019 until his dismissal in 2020, also drew parallels between Trump’s legal case and that of a Massachusetts Air National Guard member, Jack Teixeira, who was charged under the Espionage Act for posting secret military documents on social media. Esper emphasized the severity of such actions, warning of the potential consequences if foreign agents were to obtain America’s vulnerabilities or weaknesses, compromising national defense and undermining readiness.
“Imagine if a foreign agent, another country were to discover documents that outline America’s vulnerabilities or the weaknesses of the United States military,” Esper said. “Think about how that could be exploited, how that could be used against us in a conflict, how an enemy could develop countermeasures, things like that. Or in the case of the most significant piece that was raised in the allegation about U.S. plans to attack Iran, think about how that affects our readiness, our ability to prosecute an attack.”
When asked if Trump could be trusted with the nation’s secrets if elected in 2024, Esper unequivocally responded “no,” citing Trump’s actions as irresponsible and endangering both service members and national security.
Esper’s candid remarks regarding Trump’s handling of classified information and his unequivocal stance on trusting Trump with national secrets again cast a shadow over the former president’s credibility and raise serious concerns about the potential risks associated with his actions.