Donald Trump reportedly asked about bombing drug labs in Mexico

Former president also wanted to shoot protesters, his defence secretary writes

Mark Esper, who was secretary of defence at the time, stands behind Donald Trump at the White House in 2019. AFP

Donald Trump asked about the possibility of bombing drug trafficking labs in Mexico while he was US president, former defence secretary Mark Esper says in a book set to be released on Tuesday.

Excerpts cited by the New York Times said Mr Trump believed the US could pretend it wasn't responsible for launching missiles across its southern border, Mr Esper, who was Pentagon head between July 2019 and November 2020, writes.

In 2020, Mr Trump reportedly asked twice if the military could “shoot missiles into Mexico to destroy the drug labs”, Mr Esper writes in his book titled A Sacred Oath.

The Times said Mr Esper was left “speechless” at the requests.

Mr Trump's son Donald Trump Jr, who testified before the January 6 Congressional committee this week, tweeted on Friday about the report

“I'm still trying to figure out the recent media outrage about my father possibly wanting to target Mexican drug cartel manufacturing facilities in Mexico,” he wrote.

“Is that supposed to be a bad thing?”

Former US representative Justin Amash replied to the tweet: “Yes, firing missiles into Mexico is a bad thing.”

The former president dismissed Mr Esper in November 2020, days after he lost the US presidential election.

Mr Trump and Mr Esper's relationship had been strained for months, ever since the defence secretary had publicly opposed sending the military to quell protests predominantly fuelled by the murder of George Floyd, who was black, by a white police officer.

When president, Donald Trump had police clear Lafayette Park for this photo op. AP

Other excerpts from Mr Esper's book reportedly show that Mr Trump, in discussing the demonstrations in June 2020, had asked about the protesters: “Can't you just shoot them?”

Mr Trump also posted on social media that looters who joined protests following Floyd's death last year would be shot, internal Facebook documents shared with The Associated Press showed.

Agencies contributed to this report

Updated: May 06, 2022, 9:59 PM