Defense Secretary Mark Esper asked for Navy Secretary Richard V. Spencers resignation on Sunday amid his handling of the case of Navy SEAL Eddie Gallagher.
Esper said in a statement to media outlets that he was “deeply troubled” by Spencers conduct, adding that “unfortunately, as a result I have determined that Secretary Spencer no longer has my confidence to continue in his position.”
Spencer was fired because he broke the rules and undermined Espers position by ignoring the chain of command and going directly to Trump to make a deal, according to Pentagon spokesman Jonathan Hoffman.
Gallagher was convicted for posing with an ISIS fighters corpse, and Spencer said on Saturday that disciplinary action can proceed against him.
Spencer told reporters that he would need a formal order to act and didnt interpret a tweet from President Donald Trump as a “formal order.” Trump had written on Twitter that Gallaghers case was being handled poorly and maintained he should keep his SEAL honors and Trident pin.
“I think we have a process in place, which were going forward with, and thats my job,” Spencer added, reported Reuters.
Spencer noted that Trump has the power to restore Gallaghers SEAL status if Navy commanders expel him.
He told Reuters: “The commander in chief is the commander in chief … and he can do what he wants.”
But Esper said that Spencer privately proposed to the White House that Gallaghers rank be restored and allow him to retire with the pin, which went against the Navy Secretarys public opinion. He had never informed Esper of the White House proposal, according to a Department of Defense statement.
The defense secretary also maintained that Gallagher will retain his Trident pin and will later meet with Navy Under Secretary Thomas Modley, who will now serve as acting Navy Secretary.
On Sunday night, Trump wrote several tweets about Spencers firing.
“I was not pleased with the way that Navy Seal Eddie Gallaghers trial was handled by the Navy. He was treated very badly but, despite this, was completelyRead More – Source