Trump griped about how US Navy ships were ugly in comparison to ‘nicer, sleeker’ Russian and Italian ships, says Mark Esper


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A snapshot of Donald Trump and Mark Esper at the departure ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Comfort
US President Donald Trump speaks as US Defense Secretary Mark Esper listens during the departure ceremony for the hospital ship USNS Comfort
at Naval Base Norfolk on March 28, 2020.

  • Mark Esper said Trump griped on "multiple occasions" about how the US Navy ships looked.
  • Esper said Trump called the US fleet "ugly," and compared its vessels to Russian and Italian ships.
  • Esper said he told Trump that US ships are "built to fight and win, not win beauty contests."

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper wrote in his new book that former President Donald Trump used to complain about how US Navy ships looked and would compare them to Russian and Italian vessels. 


Esper, whose new book "A Sacred Oath" is slated for release on Tuesday, revealed the president's distaste for the Navy's vessel designs, according to an excerpt released by The Hill. 

According to Esper, Trump had on "multiple occasions" privately complained that the Navy's ships "look ugly" and said that their Russian and Italian counterparts looked "nicer, sleeker, like a real ship."

Responding to Trump's gripes, Esper claimed he defended the Navy and said its ships "are built to fight and win, not win beauty contests; we prize function over form." 

"That didn't satisfy him," said Esper, describing Trump's reaction to his rebuttal.

Excerpts of Esper's book have been published over the last weeks.

Citing the book, The New York Times reported on Friday that Trump had once suggested that the US launch missiles into Mexico to "destroy the drug labs."

Per The Times, Esper also wrote about how Stephen Miller, a former White House senior adviser to Trump, wanted to parade ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi's head as a warning to other terrorists. Esper wrote that he had told Miller such an act would be a "war crime."

Another excerpt from Esper's book released by Axios on May 2 detailed how Trump had asked officials if it was possible to "shoot" those protesting over the May 2020 killing of George Floyd. 

Other Trump-era officials — including former Attorney General William Barr and former White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham — have also released behind-the-scenes recollections of the Trump administration. 

Grisham's book, titled "I'll Take Your Questions Now: What I Saw At The Trump White House," includes stories such as how Trump wore her makeup during a speech in Saudi Arabia and an instance in which she describes the Trump White House as "a clown car on fire running at full speed into a warehouse full of fireworks."

Read the original article on Business Insider

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