Former President Donald Trump wanted to ‘execute’ the staffer who leaked to the press that he had been taken down to the White House bunker by Secret Service amid last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd.
Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender wrote in his new book Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost that Trump’s reaction to the bunker story leak ‘was the most upset some aides had ever seen the president.’
‘Whoever did that, they should be charged with treason!’ Trump yelled, according to an excerpt from CNN. ‘They should be executed!’
In the aftermath of the bunker incident, Trump had gathered top military, law enforcement and West Wing advisers for a meeting.
‘Trump boiled over about the bunker story as soon as they arrived and shouted at them to smoke out whoever had leaked it,’ Bender described.
Former President Donald Trump yelled that he wanted to ‘execute’ the staffer who told the news media he had to hide in the White House bunker during last summer’s Black Lives Matter protests on the heels of the death of George Floyd
On Friday May 29, 2020 protests outside the White House got so frenzied that Secret Service took President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and first son Barron Trump into the underground White House bunker
Wall Street Journal reporter Michael Bender detailed the incident in his new book Frankly, We Did Win This Election: The Inside Story of How Trump Lost
Trump’s Chief of Staff Mark Meadows ‘repeatedly tried to calm the president as startled aides avoided eye contact,’ the book continued.
‘I’m on it. We’re going to find out who did it,’ Meadows told the then-president.
Trump, however, remained angry about the leak for days, the book said.
The president ‘repeatedly asked Meadows if he’d found the leaker,’ with Meadows ‘obsessed’ with finding the source, Bender wrote.
The author added that ‘those who said they’d heard the president issue that warning had interpreted the outburst as a sign of a president in panic.’
On Twitter Tuesday, Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington called the account ‘completely false.’
‘President Trump never said or suggested this to anyone, and this fact was given to the book’s author during the fact-checking process for this book,’ Harrington said.
Floyd, a Minneapolis black man, was killed by police offier Derek Chauvin, who is white, on May 25, 2020, over Memorial Day weekend.
By the following Friday night, May 29, Black Lives Matter protesters had gathered around the White House prompting the Secret Service to take Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Barron Trump to the underground bunker.
On Twitter, Trump applauded the efforts of the Secret Service – but made no mention of going down to the President’s Emergency Operations Center.
‘I was inside, watched every move and couldn’t have felt more safe,’ Trump said.
Trump’s spokeswoman Liz Harrington smacked down the CNN report containing the anecdote from Bender’s book. ‘President Trump never said or suggested this to anyone, and this fact was given to the book’s author during the fact-checking process for this book,’ she said
The underground bunker, also known as the President’s Emergency Operations Center, has been rarely used since the early days of the ‘war on terror.’ The above image shows then-Vice President Dick Cheney (right) and then-National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice (left) inside the bunker on September 11, 2001, moments after terrorists hijacked four airliners
The morning after the president was taken to the bunker, he sent out a series of tweets complimenting the Secret Service
‘As you saw last night, they were very cool & very professional. Never let it get out of hand,’ Trump continued.
CNN broke the bunker story, quoting an unnamed White House official and an unnamed law enforcement source.
Once the story was out Trump tried to downplay it.
‘I was there for a tiny, short little period of time,’ Trump told Fox host Brian Kilmeade in a radio interview, adding that it was ‘more for an inspection.’
He added, ‘They said it would be a good time to go down and take a look because maybe sometime you’re going to need it.’
Bender’s book arrived on bookshelves Tuesday and is among a handful of books being released this month about Trump’s final year in office.
The Washington Post’s Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker book, I Alone Can Fix It, is coming out in a week.
And then controversial author Michael Wolff’s book, Landslide, comes out at the end of the month.
Trump preemptively pushed back last week as anecdotes from the books leaked out.
‘It seems to me that meeting with authors of the ridiculous number of books being written about my very successful administration, or me, is a total waste of time,’ said Trump in a statement sent by his political action committee.
‘They write whatever they want to write anyway without sources, fact-checking, or asking whether or not an event is true or false.’
DailyMail.com previously published a number of highlights from Bender’s book, including that first lady Melania Trump tried to call the president’s election night White House party off.
Bender’s book also described the ‘blood feud’ between Trump’s on-in-law Jared Kushner and Counselor to the President Kellyanne Conway.
The Secret Service form a line outside the White House as agitators attempt to breach their barricade during a protest over the death of George Floyd on May 30
A protester holds his hands up as police officers enter Lafayette Park on May 30 during a demonstration against the death of George Floyd