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Mark Esper has '24/7 protection' provided by government because of Iran threat

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper on Iran Threat

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has "24/7 protection" provided by the government because of the Iranian threat

Former Secretary of Defense Mark Esper has been a full-time government-provided “24-hour He said in an interview with CBS News' Catherine Herridge that he has been under "protection 24/7." Thursday.

"He has 24/7 protection both here and in Virginia. It's part of the job when he travels," Esper told Herridge. 

This disclosure indicates that the Department of Justice accused Iranian nationals of plotting to kill former national security adviser John Bolton, who had been given a secret. Service protection, which took place the day after the indictment for plagiarism, will begin in the second half of 2021.In ainterview with Herridge, Bolton said he was told that this was potentially a plan to "assassinate me or kidnap me."

Security was provided by the Department of Defense when Esper was Secretary of Defense. Most federal ministries, with a few exceptions, provide security to the ministers who lead them. , and that protection usually ends after his secretary leaves the government. Esper says he has been under government protection for "almost two years" since he left the department.

"I commend the FBI and the Department of Justice very much for what they have done," Esper said of the charges against the Iranian people and applauded National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan's warning. 

"Look, if they assassinate an American, much less an American official, that's an act of war," Esper said. The former secretary of defense has urged the Biden administration to take a tough line with Iran in an effort to revive stalled nuclear talks. 

Before signing a contract with them, you must ensure that they withdraw and publicly renounce any action they are taking."

He said he believed at least some of the threats were retaliatory, in retaliation after the United States assassinated Qassem Soleimani, Iran's emir. In January 2020, in Baghdad, he was an elite unit of the Quds Force and one of the most powerful figures in the Islamic Republic. The strike elicited a pledge from Iran to "destroy retaliation."  

"It's serious and believable and I think that's why he's one," Esper said of the threats against him.

In addition to Esper and Bolton, the US government also provides security to former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Deputy Secretary of State Brian Hook, also as a result of threats from Iran. 

Catherine Herridge
Catherine Herridge

Catherine Herridge is a Washington, D.C.-based Senior Investigative Correspondent for CBS News for National Security and Intelligence

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