Esper ‘definitely not voting for Trump,’ leaves door open for Biden

Former Trump Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday said he is not voting for his old boss but left the door open to voting for President Biden.

“I’m not there yet,” Esper said after being asked by comedian Bill Maher on his HBO show, “Real Time with Bill Maher,” if he would vote for the current president. “I’m definitely not voting for [former President Trump], but I’m not there yet.”

Trump announced he fired Esper from his position as Defense secretary back in November 2020, after Biden was projected to win the 2020 presidential race. Esper has since become a critic of his former superior, calling him a “threat to democracy” on the recent third anniversary of the Jan. 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

“And yes, I do regard him as a threat to democracy, democracy as we know it, our institutions, our political culture, all those things that make America great and have defined us as, you know, the oldest democracy on this planet,” Esper said to CNN’s Jim Acosta in January.

Esper said Friday on Maher’s show that “every day that Trump does something crazy, the door … to voting for Biden opens a little bit more.”

“That’s a slow-opening door,” Maher quipped in response to Esper.

Esper previously said he won’t vote for Trump in this year’s election, calling for “a new generation of Republican leaders.”

“No, and I’ll tell you why,” Esper said in 2022 when asked about whether he would vote for his former boss if he ran for the presidency again. “Because in my view, any elected leader needs to meet some basic criteria: They need to be able to put country over self; they need to have a certain amount of integrity and principle; they need to be able to reach across the aisle and bring people together and unite the country. Look, Donald Trump doesn’t meet those marks for me.”

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