Joe Scarborough Calls for Defense Secretary Mark Esper to Resign Over Trump’s Bible Photo Op: ‘It’s Despicable’


Joe Scarborough opened Wednesday morning show with another signature harangue that ridiculed President Donald Trump’s Monday night photo op that required peaceful protesters to be cleared with tear gas and rubber bullets from Lafayette Park.

The Morning Joe host also called for Defense Secretary Mark Esper to resign since he unwittingly was used as a political prop during this White House photo op.

The Secretary of Defense defended his participation in the photo op by claiming he thought the president was going to inspect troops. “I thought I was going to do two things: to see some damage and to talk to the troops,” Esper told NBC News. “I didn’t know where I was going. I wanted to see how much damage actually happened.”

“That is Secretary Esper’s worst excuse since he said his dog ate his constitution,” Scarborough noted, adding “it’s despicable if he were misled by that, by the president of the United States, then he should resign. Secretary Esper, you should resign this morning if you were used as a political plot.”

Reportedly irked by press coverage of his Friday night sheltering in a bunker during protests adjacent to the White House, Trump arranged to walk to nearby St. John’s church where he posed with a bible in a press event that has largely been derided by the president’s critics, particularly since peaceful protestors were cleared with brute force in the moments before.

Since then, military and local police’s use of tear gas has become a talking point by some on the right, baselessly claiming there was no tear gas used. This baseless claim, however, is belied by numerous video reports and also raise the pique of the Morning Joe host.

Scarborough exclaimed, “You used tear gas! You used tear gas! You used pepper spray! You used rubber bullets to clash with peaceful protesters. We’ve got the tape. It’s all on tape, Marco Rubio. It’s all on tape, Republicans. It’s all on tape. We saw it happening in realtime. Stop lying. Your lies have already been revealed.”

Rubio had tweeted that “the media fell for the calculated & deliberate tactics of professional agitators” but they “deliberately stayed to trigger police action & get the story they wanted, that ‘police attacked peaceful protestors.'” Fox News Laura Ingraham also claimed, among others, that no tear gas was used in the attack.

“So you actually have peaceful protesters who were there who had tear gas used against them, brute force used against them. Rubber bullets used against them,” Scarborough contained, adding “I’m so ashamed that an Australian cameraman and reporter were brutalized in the park, the president’s park.”

Watch above via MSNBC.

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