WASHINGTON – Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper was sacked by President Trump on Monday, the latest casualties in the president’s revolving door featuring top national security officials who mistakenly crashed side of their boss.
Mr Trump announced his decision on Twitter, saying in a sudden post that Mr. Esper has been “terminated”.
Trump tweeted that he is appointing Christopher C. Miller, described by the president as the “highly respected” director of the National Counterterrorism Center, as acting Secretary of Defense. He will be the fourth person to lead the Pentagon under Mr Trump, who has noted that Mr. Miller has been approved by the Senate.
Mr. Miller is a former Army Green Hat, formerly the top anti-terrorism policy official on the Trump White House’s National Security Council..
Mr. Esper’s demise has been expected for months, after he took the rare move in June when he publicly disagreed with Mr. Trump and said that the military should not be sent to control. wave of protests in US cities. Officials said the president, who threatened to use the Resurrection Act to do so, was furious.
A spokesperson for Mr. Esper at the time tried to fix the damage, telling The New York Times that Mr. Trump also did not want to use the Resurrection Act, otherwise he would have invoked it. Jonathan Hoffman, spokesman for Mr. “We did not see the disconnection,” said Esper.
White House officials disagree.
Mr. Esper, 56, a former Army Secretary and former chief executive officer of Raytheon, became Secretary of Defense in July last year after Mr. Trump pulled back the nomination of Patrick M. Shanahan’s acting secretary. Defense, in the context of the FBI is investigating the allegations from Mr. Shanahan’s ex-wife that he punched her in the stomach. Mr. Shanahan denied the allegations.
Mr. Shanahan backed Jim Mattis, who stepped down as Defense Secretary in 2018, citing his own differences with the president.
Mr. Esper has had a headache in following Trump’s line during his tenure. However, concern about invoking the Rebellion Act to send active soldiers to fight protesters across the country is lurking deep in the Pentagon. Under heavy public criticism, Mr. Esper finally broke with the president.
Mr. Trump called Mr. Esper “Mr. Yesper. “But the insult itself is sarcastic, as it was the Secretary of Defense’s farewell to the president during a press conference in June in which he spoke against the use of US troops in service. to quell civil unrest that angered Mr. Trump. Those comments came after he accompanied Mr. Trump on a walk through Lafayette Square outside the White House, where protesters were sprayed with tear gas, leaving former military and civil defense ministry officials. condemn.
In the middle of the summer, Mr. Esper was on the right track to repel other controversial positions related to the military that Mr. Trump took.
The Pentagon, which never once mentioned the word “Confederacy,” announced in July that it would essentially ban the display of the Union flag at military facilities around the world.
In a carefully written memo that Defense Department officials said was written to avoid inciting other flag protections from Mr. Trump, Mr. Esper gave instructions to list possible flags. on display in military facilities – in barracks, on cars and on signs.
The instructions do not specifically state that Union flags are prohibited, but they do not conform to any of the approved categories – and any such flags are prohibited.
After the fateful events in June, Mr. Esper managed to fly by line of sight, avoid the media and remain humble to avoid being drawn into electoral politics.
Mr. Esper often travels early in the summer, including overseas trips to North Africa, the Middle East and India.
But the secretary deliberately restrained public comment while on the road.
And when he speaks to the public, when abroad or in Washington, it’s often pre-recorded comments, on safety topics (beating China and Russia on a trip to Africa) or at locations friendly point (a Q&A session about military readiness at the Heritage Foundation, where Mr. Esper served as chief of staff earlier in his career).
However, on the single biggest problem of 2020 – the coronavirus pandemic – history could suggest that the Esper, so far, has outperformed its boss, who largely refused to wear a mask and coronavirus infection in an outbreak in the White House. In contrast, Mr. Esper strictly followed the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for wearing a mask when it is not possible to keep the recommended social distance.
At a virtual Pentagon-style meeting of the Pentagon, Mr. Esper responded to a crewman on the aircraft carrier Gerald R. Ford, who complained that forced social alienation on board was damaging. .
“It’s tedious – I understand that,” said Mr. Esper. “But I think it shows, in terms of the results of the Navy on the infection rate, that they’re doing very well.”