Trump Fires Defence Secretary Mark Esper For Contradicting Him- ‘Trumpism’ at its Best?
The president tweeted on Monday afternoon that he was “pleased to announce that Christopher C Miller, the highly respected director of the National Counterterrorism Center (unanimously confirmed by the Senate), will be acting secretary of defence- effective immediately.
“Chris will do a GREAT job! Mark Esper has been terminated. I would like to thank him for his service.” Though Trump has not conceded defeat in the presidential election, Miller will only have a little more than two months in the role before Joe Biden enters the White House.
Mark Esper was Trump’s second permanent secretary of defence, after James Mattis, who was a retired US Marine Corps general that resigned in late 2018. Mattis was succeeded by Patrick Shanahan, a former Boeing executive who spent months in the role. However, his position was never formally confirmed by the Senate.
Trump actually came close to firing Esper on 3 June, when the former Raytheon arms executive publicly contradicted the president over the potential use of the 1807 Insurrection Act to deploy active-duty military units against protests in Washington and other cities.
Esper said the circumstances did not justify the use of the act, which can empower a president to send troops into states against the wishes of local authorities. Trump had threatened to invoke the law two days earlier. Following Esper’s remarks, the White House noted it was a decision for the president alone.
Esper had also given orders for a battalion of the 82nd Airborne Division and military police units to return to base after they had been flown to the Washington area. He reversed the withdrawal order after visiting the White House, but the troops were withdrawn a few days later.
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