(The Hill) — Former President Trump complained about America’s “ugly” Navy ships while in office and said Russia’s looked better, former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper reportedly wrote in his new book.
In Esper’s new book, “A Sacred Oath,” which is set to be released on Tuesday, he said that Trump had a certain type of aesthetic when it came to warships, often complaining that Russian and Italian naval ships were more attractive than America’s.
“On multiple occasions, the president complained that the U.S. Navy ships ‘look ugly,’ while the Russian and Italian ships, for example, ‘look nicer, sleeker, like a real ship.’ Maybe so, but as I told the president in defense of the Navy, ‘Our ships are built to fight and win, not win beauty contests; we prize function over form,” Esper wrote in his book, adding, “That didn’t satisfy him.”
Esper, who was fired in November 2020 after having disputes with Trump over police brutality and the response to protests over racial inequality in the U.S., also wrote in his book that the former president became obsessed with retired Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman, a witness in Trump’s first impeachment trial.
“The president asked me a couple of times about Vindman: ‘When will the Army kick him out?’ he would say,” Esper wrote. “It was surprising how animated one Army lieutenant colonel was able to make the leader of the free world. I never understood it.”
In other excerpts from his book, Esper wrote that Trump initially proposed launching missiles into Mexico to destroy drug labs ran by local cartels in the region.
Esper is the latest of many Trump-era officials who have published books recounting their time with the former president. Former Attorney General William Barr said in his own memoir that Trump “lost his grip” after the 2020 presidential election.