CBS Face The Nation Interview Leaves Viewers Asking “Who’s Lying?”

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Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation (05/15/22) to discuss his new book “A Sacred Oath”, which chronicles his time in the Trump administration. During his interview however, there was an interesting, even awkward exchange about the infamous Lafayette Square incident, that left viewers wondering whether he, or former Attorney General William Barr, or both, were lying to the public about the incident. Specifically, Esper told host Margaret Brennan that former President Trump did indeed request 10,000 active duty troops to deal with the BLM protesters at Lafayette Square even though at his earlier appearance on the same show, with the same host, former AG Barr had called such claims “completely false.”

How can two senior officials of the Trump administration(SecDef & AG), who were both present at a seminal moment in the administration(Lafayette Square protests), end up with a polar opposite recollections of the same event? Who’s lying?

Host Margaret Brennan(video at 3:50): “You(Esper) talk about, and have spoken quite a lot this past week about the events in Lafayette Square, and it’s an important bit of the public record. You were in the Oval Office with the President, and he spoke about a very specific number, 10,000 of active duty troops potentially being sent into the streets of Washington DC. I want to play a clip for you here, because I asked the then Attorney General Bill Barr about exactly that..[plays clip with AG Barr, where he calls such claims ‘completely false’]…”

Margaret Brennan: “Why do you seem to have different recollections?”

Mark Esper: “I don’t know. I wrote about this in my book that Bill Barr and I have different recollections. Of course if you go through my story you’ll understand that the President calls into the Pentagon earlier that morning and talks about 10,000 troops. That’s when I’m first made aware of this request. Look, I don’t know why we have different recollections. I think in all these cases people hear or see different things, but I’m 110% confident of what the President was seeking that morning.”

Reasonable people will agree that these two dramatically different accounts of the same Lafayette Square event cannot both be true. Someone is clearly lying here. Who is it?

Bottom line folks, this new phenomenon of Washington insiders sitting on information of great public interest, only to release them after lucrative book deals, is getting out of control. Both Esper and Barr have written books about their experiences in the Trump administration, and have presumably been rewarded handsomely for the books. The public however is still left hanging on the question as to whether Trump requested active duty troops to deal with the Lafayette Square protests. What public good do these “bombshell” books serve?

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Sec Pompeo Says Iraqis Are Not Protesting Soleimani’s Killing

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo today appeared on CBS’ Face The Nation show and made the shocking assertion that Iraqi’s are not protesting the recent U.S. killing of a top Iranian military general Qassim Soleimani in their country (Iraq).

What’s even more startling about Sec Pompeo’s assertion is the fact that just today, the Iraqi parliament voted for a resolution to remove U.S. forces from Iraq as a result of Soleimani’s killing, a point which host Margaret Brennan correctly emphasized. Reasonable people will agree that the very fact that the Iraqi parliament was considering removing U.S. troops from their country is a sign of significant displeasure/protest against the U.S.

Specifically, Sec Pompeo told host Margaret Brennan when asked about the Iraqi parliament vote to kick out U.S. troops. “Make no mistake about it. The Iraqi people too are protesting, but not against America. What you are seeing on TV is happening at the direction of [Iran]..” To host Margaret Brennan’s credit, she did not blindly accept Sec Pompeo’s ridiculous assertion that the Iraqi’s are not protesting against the U.S. or that the vote in the Iraqi parliament was at the direction of Iran.

Bottom line folks, the Trump administration has never taken seriously the public’s demands that it tells them the truth about issues of great public concern. The administration’s blatant disregard for the truth is coming back to bite them as it now confronts the serious Iran crisis. The public has come to a point where they no longer believe anything the administration says–including the justification for Soleimani’s strike. It certainly doesn’t help when Sec Pompeo shows up on a leading Sunday political show and makes a demonstrably false assertion. Hopefully for everybody’s sake, the Trump administration will change course and level with the public about the Iran crisis. This is serious business.

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