Citing unnamed officials, the newspaper writes that Trump was outraged when Esper did not support his intention to use military personnel to quell protests in Washington, Minneapolis, and other places that began after the killing of African-American George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25.
The publication says that the President consulted with several advisers about these differences, but they opposed the firing of the head of the Pentagon. As a result, Trump abandoned plans to fire Esper immediately.
At the same time, Esper, who became aware of Trump’s sentiments, began making his preparations for retirement, the Wall Street Journal reported. According to the newspaper, he began preparing a letter of resignation before being dissuaded from doing so by aides and other advisers.