Mark Esper: President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Monday that he had fired Defense Secretary Mark Esper. And that Christopher Miller, director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center, would become acting secretary “with immediate effect.”
The president ousted Esper two days after taking control of rival Joe Biden as the winner of the presidential election. A conclusion that Trump did not accept.
Esper’s increasingly strained relationship with Trump prompted him a few weeks ago to prepare a letter of resignation to end with dignity the highly anticipated event at which the President decided to fire him. Defense. including a senior defense officer.
Esper’s firing has raised fears that other senior national security officials who have won Trump’s wrath will be next on the list.
Trump and some of his Tory allies have become increasingly frustrated with CIA Director Gina Haspel in recent weeks, accusing her of delaying the publication of documents alleged to expose the so-called “deep state” against the campaign. and Trump’s transition. under the Obama administration. according to current and former officials.
Haspel denied that releasing the documents would endanger US national security by exposing critical sources and methods.
In the past few months, Trump and his allies have also heavily criticized FBI Director Christopher Ray for failing to provide the information they believe would harm the president’s political enemies, including Biden.
Esper responded to Trump in a letter on Monday by saying, “I serve the country according to the constitution. So I accept your decision to replace me.”
“I have no doubt that in the past eighteen months in the Department of Defense we have achieved a lot to protect the nation and to make radical changes to improve the readiness, skills. And professionalism of the joint armed forces and prepare the army for the future,” said he. Mark Esper
The Democratic Response was Silenced
Senate Armed Forces Committee Chairman, Oklahoma Speaker James Inhoff, thanked Esper for his service. Texas spokesman Mac Thornberry, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee, said Esper “served the nation well in very difficult circumstances.”
Senator Mark Warner, a Virginia Democrat and vice chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, said he was deeply concerned about the firing. “The last thing our country needs is more turbulence in institutions that are supposed to protect our national security,” Warner warned in a statement against further layoffs. “Any information approved by the Senate or national security officials. During his tenure.”
Warner also said that “there is no doubt that our adversaries are already looking for vulnerabilities that can be exploited to undermine US global leadership and national security during this transition period.”
Miller, who will remain as an esper, was a driving force behind some of Trump’s actions against Iran and its Hezbollah spokesman, as well as counter-terrorism related to the wars in Syria and Iraq. . Prior to joining the NCTC, Miller was director of the counter-terrorism on the National Security Council.
I am 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 Defense, effective immediately..
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 9, 2020
Miller, an Iowa-based and retired U.S. Army officer, also served as assistant secretary of defense. Miller appeared to arrive at the Pentagon Monday afternoon. And met with Miley and other senior officials shortly thereafter to learn vital information on topics such as nuclear codes and military operations around the world. Miller told officials they should “not expect any significant changes at this point,” the official said.
And had rejected Trump since 2019, a key framework for today’s layoff.
Esper was one of the administration officials in 2019 calling on the president to provide aid to Ukraine. Which Trump blocked when he asked the president to investigate Biden’s son Hunter Biden. and the alleged support from Ukraine. . to Hillary Clinton. in the 2016 election. And Esper warned Trump not to withdraw all troops from northern Syria in October 2019.
Secretary of Defense Mark Esper
After the U.S. National Guard and Park Police forcibly dispersed peaceful protesters in June for Trump to pose for a photo in Lafayette Square. Esper took additional precautions to try to guard the U.S. military.
Esper’s disagreement with the president escalated after he said at a press conference in June that he did not support the use of active-duty troops to quell large-scale protests in the United States sparked by the police death of George Floyd.
Esper, who didn’t want American troops on the streets during the summer riots. Told the president not to invoke the insurgency law. The campaign for the president’s re-election opposed the actions of Attorney General William Barr, Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Purdue.
Eser’s comments from the Pentagon boardroom in June were viewed by many as an attempt to distance themselves from Trump. And were not accepted in the White House. Several people familiar with the matter said.
Esper disagreed with Trump on Afghanistan, a senior administration official says
While Esper urges the United States to leave Afghanistan as a destination. He does not think the terms for the withdrawal of all members of the American service are right as the president may be preparing to do so, a stated those responsible.
Some of Esper’s neighbors are wondering if Trump fired him on Monday. So that he could soon withdraw his troops from the country without creating public opposition. And stepping down as Secretary of Defense.
Esper also angered the president when he publicly said the military would never target Iranian cultural sites for the bombing after Trump threatened to do so in January 2020.
And Esper believed he had persuaded the President not to forgive Sergeant Eddie Gallagher. A Navy SEAL convicted of war crimes, only to see Navy Secretary Richard Spencer come out of the hierarchy to discuss the matter White. House, according to an officer. Trump went ahead and forgave Gallagher.
According to various officials, these incidents in the White House slowly sparked feelings about Esper for many months.
Trump dubbed him ‘Yesper’
Trump even teased the chief defense’s derogatory nickname “Yesper” at a news conference in August. A nickname Esper was given by defense officials who believed he hadn’t gone far enough to do so. Before the most controversial decisions. From the president.
In particular, Trump had expressed his frustration with Esper for months. And, according to multiple sources, had spoken a lot during a trip to Camp David earlier this year.
Trump also publicly criticized Pentagon leaders in September, accusing them of seeking wars to boost profits for defense companies. An angry esper called on the White House chief to complain, defense officials said. Soon after, Meadows appeared on television trying to withdraw Trump’s comments.
Esper and Trump also disagreed on whether to rename military bases in honor of the Confederate generals. Esper helped take the name change into account. The president refused to accept the idea.
The Senate voted 90-8 in July 2019 for Esper’s confirmation. He succeeded James Mattis, who resigned in December 2018 after Trump decided to withdraw from Syria in a fight with Daesh. Abandon Kurdish allies, and withdraw US troops from the war-torn country.