Some defense officials confirmed the Esper had long prepared a resignation form and once the election was decided, the President could turn his attention to the Esper’s fate, meaning he could gone within a few days.
One of the officials stressed the letter had not been updated since Tuesday’s election.
Pentagon Chief of Staff spokesman Jonathan Hoffman tweeted on Wednesday that “Defense Secretary Esper has no plans to resign, nor is it required to submit a resignation.”;
“He continues to serve the country as Defense Secretary on the President’s honor and is working to implement the irreversible Defense Strategy,” added Hoffman.
Senior officials often prepare resignations so the President has appointed them the option to replace them if they are re-elected.
Some officials say behind the scenes at the Pentagon, some very preliminary administrative steps to prepare for the departure and transition are underway – a reflection of a broad assessment that Trump was tired. tired of his latest defense secretary, to whom he quizzically called “Yesper.”
If the Esper leaves job and Trump chooses not to appoint a temporary substitute, Deputy Defense Secretary David Norquist will assume the role in the action role until the substitute is appointed by whoever wins the election. .
Officials say the Esper wants to avoid being the latest in a long line of top administration officials pointed to the door after a private or public parting with Trump, many of whom have been domestication via a tweet or other public humiliation.
The Esper had been on earth shaking for months
His remarks from the Pentagon meeting room were seen by many as an attempt to shun Trump’s threats of military deployment to enforce order on American streets.
Many people familiar with the matter said the Esper news conference did not go well at the White House, but a senior Republican source told CNN that tensions between Trump and the Esper led to division on military use.
According to many administration officials, Trump and national security adviser Robert O’Brien both consider the Esper not fully committed to the President’s vision for the military.
Administration officials say for months, Trump and O’Brien have lost confidence in the Esper’s military leadership and are disappointed with their tendency to avoid taking measures to protect the President or his policies. me.
A source in the administration told CNN that Trump did not respect the Esper, leaving the Secretary of Defense with little influence and few options beyond the leadership of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump went so far as to mock his defense chief’s mocking nickname “Yesper” during a press conference in August, the nickname bestowed upon him by defense officials who believed that he did not go far enough to face the President’s more controversial decisions.
“Some people call him Yesper,” Trump said. “No, I get along with him. I get along with him. He’s fine. Yeah, no problem.”
When asked if he would consider firing the Esper, Trump replied: “I consider firing everyone. At some point, that’s what will happen.”
Trump has expressed his personal disappointment with the Esper for months. According to various sources, the President had vented his heart on him during a trip to Camp David earlier this year.
Keep a low profile
Trump criticized the Pentagon leadership in September, accusing the military leadership of trying to wage war to increase the profits of defense contractors.
The President’s allegations angered the Esper, who called White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows to complain, according to defense officials. Meadows soon appeared on television and tried to counter Trump’s comments, saying his views on the Pentagon leaders were not aimed at anyone specifically.
One of the Esper’s toughest challenges was the direct result of a disagreement with the White House: The President refused to accept the Pentagon’s willingness to rename military bases in honor of Confederate generals. Male.