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Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper gets Pentagon’s approval to publish memoir

<i>Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images</i><br/>The former Pentagon chief will now have his book published in May with
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Greg Nash/Pool/Getty Images
The former Pentagon chief will now have his book published in May with "minimal redactions

By Katelyn Polantz, CNN Reporter, Crime and Justice

Former Defense Secretary Mark Esper has gotten the Pentagon’s sign-off on his memoir of his time working under President Donald Trump and will drop a lawsuit against the department for not clearing his book manuscript for publication, his attorney said Friday.

The former Pentagon chief will now have his book published in May with “minimal redactions,” his attorney Mark Zaid said.

Esper had sued the department he had led last year after its prepublication book reviewers wanted redactions made to national security topics in the manuscript.

Esper had said those sections included his recollections of Trump and thoughts on foreign countries, and he argued in his lawsuit that he didn’t believe the Pentagon’s proposed redactions were classified information.

Esper was Trump’s second Senate-confirmed defense secretary during his presidency, permanently stepping into the role in July 2019 following James Mattis’ resignation in December 2018. During his tenure, he broke with Trump on various issues, including recommending against the withdrawal of all US troops from Afghanistan, supporting the renaming of military bases that honor Confederate generals and opposing the use of active-duty troops to crack down on the 2020 protests over George Floyd’s murder.

Trump ultimately fired Esper via tweet in November 2020, days after he had lost the presidential election.

After filing his lawsuit against the Pentagon, Esper told CNN’s Jake Tapper that his aim with the book was to “provide important insights and anecdotes and color to what was arguably one of the most tumultuous second halves of an administration in history.”

“My view is that the American people deserve a full and unvarnished history of the last presidency, the Trump administration,” he said.

The book, titled “A Sacred Oath,” will give an “unvarnished account of (Esper’s) tenure during the Trump Administration,” Zaid said in a statement.

The memoir will join a long list of books by ex-Trump officials — including former national security adviser John Bolton, FBI Director James Comey and White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham — about their time working for the administration.

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CNN’s Veronica Stracqualursi contributed to this report.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - US Politics

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